Ex-Marysville Little League leader accused of stealing $70K

He admitted taking league funds after running out of money during vacations, court records show.

MARYSVILLE — Marysville Little League’s former president faces felony charges after an audit turned up more than $70,000 in missing money.

Leo Carlos, 49, has been ordered to appear for an arraignment on Sept. 24. He is charged with first-degree theft and abuse of trust.

A Marysville police detective received a complaint from league board members in the fall of 2016, according to charges filed in Snohomish County Superior Court. A league official had questioned spending patterns as early as 2014. The league later hired a forensic accountant to pore over the books from October 2012 through September 2016.

The auditor “quickly learned any financial reporting was basically non-existent and had not been accurate for years,” deputy prosecutor Jacqueline Lawrence wrote in charging documents. To compensate for the missing money, the league had to raise player fees.

Court paperwork describes unauthorized bank withdrawals and meals.

During an interview, Carlos initially told authorities he had not done anything wrong, but was unable to account for the money, the documents state. Other league officials said $3,500 worth of personal phone bills were unauthorized.

Carlos admitted to withdrawing league funds after running out of money during vacations to Ocean Shores and Lake Oswego, Oregon, according to charging papers. During questioning, he reportedly told police he had experienced financial difficulties, including losing his house in foreclosure, and used the league’s money for daily expenses such as gas for his truck.

The league treasurer told a detective she had questioned Carlos about unauthorized bank withdrawals of league funds, but was unsure of the amount involved or whether he would repay it, the charges state. Little League presidents reportedly receive regular training about their financial responsibilities.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@herald net.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

Avoid embezzlement

The Washington State PTA recommends the following financial guidelines for parent groups. The tips also apply to booster clubs and other small nonprofits, like Marysville Little League.

• Use a budget and keep a ledger. Track all checks, deposits and withdrawals.

• Have multiple people share financial responsibilities.

• Talk about potential conflicts of interest for board members.

• Review and reconcile bank statements.

• If you suspect a problem, conduct a financial review and contact the overseeing organization.

• Decide when and how to communicate what happened to the membership.

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