Warren County Common Pleas Judge Robert Peeler accepted a guilty plea from Michelle Petrey Wednesday afternoon. Petrey admitted to stealing $64,800.56 from the the former treasurer of the Clearcreek Youth Soccer Association while she served as the group's treasurer.
Petrey waived indictment and pled by a Bill of Information to a fourth degree count of theft. Judge Peeler ordered a presentence investigation before her sentencing date on Feb. 4.
According to investigators, Petrey made 101 withdrawals from the organization's bank account. She was solely responsible for handling all of the collections, payments, and accounting transactions for the group.
"Most of these types of thefts occur because a single individual is given sole access and control over an organization's finances," Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said. "In our county, we have probably two or three additional investigations that are going on right now relating to this type of activity."
The prosecutor would not go into detail about those cases but did plea with organizations to keep a system of checks and balances on finances and their records.
According to the Ohio Auditor's Office , organizations should use what auditors call "internal controls" to protect themselves from loss. Those include:
- Segregation of duties (no one person has control over the whole process)
- Reconciling bank statements
- Complete recordkeeping
- Board approval of expenditures
- Board monitoring of control processes
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