Little League Fraud and Embezzlement

Volunteer embezzlement

Insider crime leads to big league problems

Vice Sports recently published a story on embezzlement and fraud schemes and apparently lax financial management system in Little League across the country. In “Little Big Crime,” Vice Sports reports volunteer staff embezzled or stole close to $2 million from within 37 Little Leagues in 2009, with 19 of those cases taking place in the last two years.

Every parent, coach, administrator and officer of a youth sports organization should read the article. The point of the story isn’t to paint Little League as a corrupt youth sport organization. The fact of the matter is that embezzlement in volunteer-run organizations and the high dollar amount of funds that go missing aren’t uncommon. It could easily be happening in your organization right under your nose.

We’ve been posting articles on fraud and embezzlement within youth sports for quite some time and offering tips on how to prevent such crimes. If I’ve heard one, I’ve heard a hundred administrators of sports organizations say it could never happen to them. Well, the first few paragraphs of the Vice Sports article illustrates just how shockingly vulnerable every organization is. Over a six year period a trusted and well-respected man serving as a trusted Little League vice president for over 15 years stole more than $200,000 before the crime was discovered.  After accounting for the interest payments on unnecessary loans he took out in the league’s name, the ultimate cost to the league was in the range of $270,000.

Protecting your organization

Needless to say, without a Crime Insurance policy, there’s little hope of ever recovering that money. Crime Insurance protects organizations from employee dishonesty, forgery and alteration, and theft of money and securities. Such a policy should be specially endorsed to cover theft by employees and officers.

It can’t be stressed strongly enough how important it is to put safeguards in place to prevent theft of registrations fees, concession profits, fund raising money and abuse of credit cards and bank accounts. If you or someone other than the person handling the finances of your organization hasn’t checked the books and bank statements lately, do it today.

And if your organization doesn’t have a Crime Insurance policy, call us today to discuss your needs and get a quote at 800- 622-7370.

Source: Aaron Gordon, “Little Big Crime:The Multimillion Dollar Little League Fraud Crisis,” 06 Oct. 2014.
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