Sports association president confirms theft of $100,000

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By AJ Vicens

Gary Losh says he does it all for the kids.

He helps them through his day job, and he did as president of the South Jeffco Sports Association. But that was until last Tuesday, when Losh was not re-elected amid a scandal involving more than $100,000 missing from the association.

“It’s real tough,” Losh said in an interview last week. “I’ve had an awful hard time. It is personal for me in terms of the person being my friend — the trust of having a friendship.”

Losh was referring to the embezzlement of tens of thousands of dollars in association money over the last couple of years.

“It wasn’t done to me; it was done to the community and the association. And it reflects on my character,” Losh said. “It’s been hard on me emotionally because I wonder what people are thinking. It’s easy to point fingers and say, ‘Why wasn’t this done and why wasn’t that done?’ and I’ve asked myself the same questions.”

Disgust was the first emotion Losh felt when he started to suspect a month ago that someone was stealing money from the association. Anger soon followed.

Losh said he and other association staff members found out about the thefts when, after not personally signing off on payroll for a time, he asked the secretary to verify checks that had been written. One of the checks had been written for $300 more than it should have been, and Losh said he grew suspicious. He and another staff member noticed a duplicate payroll check for the same amount and thought it could have been a mistake.

The association’s treasurer went to the bank, and she found that a check had been deposited with a forged signature. At that point an affidavit of forgery was filed with the bank, and the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office was contacted the following Monday. Over the next month, the scope of the theft was learned and that led to news reports last week.

Losh added that QuickBooks reports submitted to the board had been manipulated, and that neither he nor the board ever looked at bank statements.

“And little by little, day by day, we’ve come up with more and more things,” Losh said.

He said that some people on the board were upset with him that he told the police about it so soon after learning of the thefts, telling him that there must have been circumstances behind the situation.

“It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are; it’s theft,” Losh said of his reaction.

Charges have yet to be filed, and the Jeffco sheriff is in the early stages of the investigation, said Jacki Kelley, spokeswoman for the sheriff. She said it is against policy to name a suspect who has yet to be formally identified or interviewed, and that the investigation should take at least a few weeks.

Losh was not re-elected as president of the association in last week’s regularly scheduled election.

“The board just felt it’s better for a change,” Losh said.

He will be on the board for another year. He said he’ll keep moving forward with the board to help things get back on the right track, adding that all the work is for the kids anyway.

Losh said parents of kids in the association should become more active and attend more board meetings and ask questions.

He said that most of the money would likely be recovered through negotiations with American Express and insurance.

A report in the local media over the weekend said Losh used association money for personal expenses and implied that he was perhaps floating personal loans on association money. Losh acknowledged Monday that he accidentally used an association debit card at two casinos — one in Las Vegas and one in Colorado — but that he paid the money back as soon as he noticed. He also admitted using the association’s Home Depot card to buy things for himself when he was in Greeley and had forgotten his own method of payment. He said he wasn’t going to drive all the way back to Littleton, so he bought the items, brought the receipt into the office the next business day and paid the amount back.

Losh said he reported to the board the money he used before the issues with the embezzlement. He added that he’s feeling “beat up” over the situation — not because it wasn’t his fault; he admits he is ultimately responsible for the lost money since he was in charge — but because of the betrayal.

He said he’ll keep working with investigators and the association until the matter is resolved.

“We’re just trying to move forward and make it right,” Losh said.

Contact A.J. Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.