MIAMI TWP., Ohio – Two board members for the Milford Basketball Association stole more than $21,000 from the youth organization over the past six years, the president of the group says.
Shannon Wenzel and Carey Chesser pleaded not guilty Friday to one count of fourth-degree felony theft. Bond was set at $25,000.
MBA organizes teams and rents school gyms where they practice and play games. About 1,000 kids pay $125 a year to participate.
Wenzel and Chesser ripped off a big chunk of that money buying gift cards, whole turkeys, feminine hygiene products, dog food and other things, MBA president Jack Noe said Thursday.
The organization entrusted the women to buy concessions to sell during MBA events, Noe said. While they shopped at Sam's Club in Eastgate, they would load up their carts with other goods, too.
"Things we don't sell at our concessions stands," Noe said.
Wenzel and Chesser got greedier in the past year – spending between $7,000 and $7,500 in unauthorized charges, Noe said. MBA officials got suspicious when they didn't make as much money on concessions as they thought they would.
They asked Wenzel and Chesser for receipts, but the women wouldn't produce them, Noe said.
So MBA officials went to Sam's Club and got itemized receipts from the store.
After a police investigation, a grand jury indicted the Milford women on July 24.
WCPO asked Noe how the alleged thieves could get away with it for so long.
"When we would ask for receipts, they would put us off by saying they didn't have them, they had them at home, they'd bring them to the next board meeting. It never materialized," he said.
"Is there culpability on our part as far as not getting the receipts? Yeah, but when you have board members that tell us they have the receipts and they don't produce them, that led to us demanding their removal."
The group has tightened its finances, Noe said.