Sunday, January 29, 2017

Adelanto Little League embezzlement case ends with plea deal

The former treasurer for the Adelanto Little League who faced felony embezzlement charges has been sentenced after entering into a plea bargain, court records show.

Stacy Lynn Blandon pleaded no contest on Thursday to one count of misdemeanor embezzlement exceeding $950 in value and was sentenced to 36 months probation and one day in county jail, according to court records.

Pursuant to the plea bargain, the embezzlement charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor and a second misdemeanor charge of falsely reporting a criminal offense was dismissed. In addition, Blandon was credited one day for time served, court records show.

Adelanto Little League Vice President Dave Thomas declined to comment Friday pending the gathering of more information on Blandon's sentencing, but Little League California District 49 Administrator Martin Hoover expressed his displeasure with the former treasurer's actions.

"Personally, I think any time someone steals money from an organization that benefits young boys and girls, it's a heinous act," Hoover told the Daily Press, "but I still think that even her pleading no contest ... from now on when it comes to youth sports - should she ever want to volunteer again - that's going to draw a red flag."

Hoover said that, going forward, he hopes other organizations won't face "the headache" Adelanto Little League had to experience as a result of the embezzlement. He added he was unclear of the exact amount embezzled by Blandon.

"I know records were handed over to (the San Bernardino County) Sheriff's (Department)," Hoover said. "I don't know if they were able to pinpoint how much, though."

The Daily Press first reported on Dec. 29, 2015, that Sheriff's officials were investigating allegations that possibly more than $15,000 may have been missing from the league. On Friday, Hoover confirmed that figure was accurate.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney's office filed charges against Blandon on March 1, 2016, three months after league officials reported to authorities that they found money unaccounted for while reviewing their books.

In a complaint obtained by the Daily Press at the time, prosecutors said the wrong-doing occurred between Sept. 23, 2014, and Oct. 20, 2015.

Meanwhile, the dismissed misdemeanor charge stemmed from Feb. 3, 2015, when Blandon allegedly reported a felony to a Little League official despite knowing the report was false, according to the prosecution.

In addition to probation, Blandon was ordered to pay $235 to the court; however, it remains unclear whether Blandon will pay additional restitution to the league. Neither the prosecuting or defense attorneys responded to requests for comment, and Hoover said he was unaware of any potential future payments.

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