March 3, 2009

We need more fireworks money?

I guess this is the reason these "sports" groups need so much fireworks money...fraud. If this guy allegedly took $59,000, how much was their available to take? Was there so much cash floating around that the embezzler did not think they would miss the money? I think the city seriously needs to start taking a closer look at how all that fireworks money is being spent. Looks to us like its going up in smoke. Also of note the LASD was not the agency that uncovered this. Likely too busy trying to push their own problems to the back page of the news.

Embezzlement charges filed
COURTS: Ex-president of sporting league is accused of taking $59,000.
By Tracy Manzer and Sandy Mazza, Staff Writers
Posted: 03/02/2009

Embezzlement charges were filed against a 40-year-old Lakewood man, who is among three people accused of stealing from local youth sports groups in two separate crimes, authorities said Monday.

Michael Sweet was arrested at his Lakewood home on Thursday and appeared in Torrance Superior Court that same day to answer to a charge of embezzling nearly $60,000 from the Pacific Coast Football Association, an umbrella group that oversees a number of community youth sports groups, including Lakewood Pacific Junior Football, according to the Redondo Beach Police Department.

Sweet, who served as president of the Pacific Coast organization until his resignation last year, is accused of writing $59,000 worth of checks from the umbrella group's bank account to pay personal bills over several months in 2008, Redondo Beach Police Lt. Paul Wrightsman said.

Redondo Beach investigators began looking into Sweet while investigating two other women who served on the board of the Redondo Beach Youth Football and Cheer Association and who were accused of pocketing the smaller group's snack bar money, police said.

Patricia Cotton, 63, of Buena Park, and Alesia Fleming, 42, of Palmdale, were arrested the same day as Sweet and arraigned on charges of stealing the concession stand money from the Redondo group while they served on its board of directors, Wrightsman said.

Cotton was the president, and Fleming was the treasurer.

The charge against Sweet does not include the time he served as president of the Lakewood Pacific Junior Football group, authorities said Monday.

Neither Sweet, nor anyone else with the Pacific Coast Football Association, could be reached for comment Monday., 562-499-1261.

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