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Update February 13, 2015- A member of the Downtown Little League board is telling people that $75,000 is the amount that was embezzled from the Downtown Little League bank accounts, and that the Treasurer was involved. However, when it took place is unknown, and which Treasurer was involved is unknown.
The current Treasurer, Bray Kelly, according to a different source, attended the Little League meeting last night, indicating that he was not involved.
The same source from the board also claims that the Manhattan District Attorney is not going to prosecute the matter. If true, that is inexplicable given the large dollar amount of the alleged felony theft.
February 12, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
The President of Downtown Little League, Andrew Zelter, sent an email to members informing them that they had uncovered financial wrongdoing. Sources tell us that their bank accounts have more than $200,000. The amount stolen is unknown.
The memo instructed people to send inquires to Andrew Zelter, Nancy Stroker, and Steve Fineman, indicating that they were not the ones found to have embezzled. The Treasurer is listed as Bray Kelly and was not listed as a person with which to inquire. The Treasurer has not been accused of wrongdoing.
In organizations such as Downtown Little League, it is customary to require multiple signatures on checks greater than a few thousand dollars. If the crook used forged signatures, it is baffling as to how they thought that the payments would not be caught by the accountants.
All of the local elected officials, particularly Sheldon Silver, have been closely involved with Downtown Little League. No comments have been issued.
The email sent to parents is below:
Thank you for registering for the 2015 Downtown Little League (DLL) season. Despite the chilly temperatures and lingering snow, we are counting down to the start of our upcoming Spring baseball and softball seasons. Weather permitting, we expect to start practices the weekend of March 7th and first games on April 18th. We expect to finalize and communicate team rosters on or before March 1st. We have more than 1000 children registered across the DLL program, and look forward to seeing everyone on the fields
The DLL Board is reaching out today not only to provide you with a registration update but also to alert you to an unfortunate recent event. We recently discovered a deficit in the DLL cash reserve. This cash reserve has been built up over several years, and has been used for such purposes as; to reinvest in the baseball and softball programs, and to address unexpected events such as Super Storm Sandy. The deficit in this reserve occurred due to unauthorized activity within the DLL bank account. This activity occurred without the knowledge or the consent of the DLL Board. The person responsible has been identified, has admitted to acting alone and has been removed from any position of authority related to DLL.
Please know the following:
- DLL is cooperating fully with law enforcement.
- DLL is exploring all options to recover funds and has filed a claim under our Crimes Insurance Coverage.
- DLL is working with our external accountant to enhance internal practices.
Most importantly, we want to inform you of 2 facts:
- None of the money collected since DLL opened registration on December 1, 2014 for the upcoming season has been compromised.
- DLL is completely solvent and will be able to administer organized softball and baseball activities for the spring season as planned.
All inquiries regarding this matter, which continues under investigation, should be directed to Andrew Zelter, DLL President, Nancy Stroker, DLL VP and Steve Fineman, DLL Board Member.