Person who stole $100,000 from sports association repaying funds

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By AJ Vicens

The person who stole more than $100,000 from the South Jeffco Sports Association has repaid 40 percent of the stolen money, according to the association’s president, and the remaining 60 percent is due Jan. 23.

“I feel good about it,” said Jeff Wahl, the association’s president. “Forty percent of the money has already been repaid, with 60 percent payable on the 23rd. The person definitely has incentive to make that second payment, and I think that they want to get it behind them.”

Wahl declined to identify the person involved or the total amount that was to be repaid, saying he doesn’t want to “jeopardize” the final payment. He added that the association had nothing to do with the fact that criminal were not filed.

“South Jeffco can only pursue the civil portion of this,” Wahl said. “They don’t have any say-so as to whether it’s pursued criminally. That’s up to the DA’s office. All we’re concerned about is making sure we get the money back.”

Jacki Kelley, spokeswoman for the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that no prosecution is planned.

“The victim in the case and the suspect reached an agreement to repay the funds that were missing, and when they reached a civil agreement, we no longer had a case that was presentable to the DA’s office,” Kelley said.

The association formed a financial review committee a month or so after the theft was revealed in October, Wahl said. The committee is responsible for ensuring that accounting is correct and bills are being paid, but it’s also tasked with making recommendations to the association’s executive board as to what checks need to be in place to avoid similar incidents.

“You can steal if you want to steal,” Gary Losh, the former president of the association and a board member, said of the current situation.

Losh said he’s not sure that the process is any more secure than it was when the theft occurred. “I don’t know that things are going to be better. I hope they are, but ee I think it could happen under any circumstances.

“I’m glad it’s over, but I’m not necessarily happy with the way things were handled ee,” Losh added. “I think that trying make the association whole again in terms of the finances was the No. 1 priority, and probably that was taken care of. ee But it does concern me that nothing criminally happened.”

Losh indicated he wouldn’t “necessarily” prefer that criminal charges were filed in the case, but also said he has “mixed emotions” on the question.

“It caused a lot of headache for a lot of people, and I think there was no accountability for it,” Losh said. “There was financially, but (the person) was not held accountable. So I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

Losh said the incident has contributed to a level of frustration that will make the Jan. 8 board meeting his last.

No programs or association activities were affected by the theft, Wahl said, adding that several local and outside vendors “understand the situation and have worked with us, and we had agreements with them where they would extend a little bit more time to us to make payments.”

“We’re a nonprofit youth sports association,” Wahl said. “So I think it’s a soft spot in a lot of people’s hearts, and I think they’re willing to work with us.”

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.