More than $90,000 was embezzled from a Minnesota youth hockey association, and the group's treasurer has been charged with stealing the funds and using the money on personal expenses.
Kelly Beth Alonso-Heath, 41, of Little Falls, has been charged in Morrison County District Court with one count of felony theft for her alleged role in the embezzling scheme.
According to a criminal complaint, police were alerted to "large sums of money" stolen from the Little Falls Youth Hockey Association "over the last few years." The person who informed police, identified in the complaint as a board member of the youth league, accused Alonso-Heath of embezzling the money for approximately four years, from mid-2016 until her departure from the organization in April 2020.
A new treasurer became alarmed, according to the complaint, when she found the organization had approximately $13,000 in the bank when there should've been approximately $130,000.
The charging document accuses Alonso-Heath of cashing numerous checks written to herself, in addition to other checks written out to Kwik Trip. The checks totaled a value of more than $85,000.
An additional $5,800 was withdrawn from the hockey association's account and used to pay for utility bills under Alonso-Heath's name, charges state.
A review of bank statements compared with board meeting notes resulted in the discovery of large discrepancies. Per the complaint:
"For example, at the board meeting in January 2020, Alonso-Heath reported that there was an account balance in excess of $131,000. However, the actual bank statement for that same period of time showed an ending balance of just over $27,000. For the meeting minutes of February 2020, Alonso-Heath reported a balance in excess of $107,000 when the bank statement for that time period was actually $19,000."
On July 30, Alonso-Heath was interviewed by a police investigator and she said the missing money was gone, noting that she had spent the money on household expenses.
"Alonso-Heath admitted that she was in dire financial need over the last few years. She stated that her situation got much worse after she moved out of her parent’s residence in April of 2018," the complaint states. "At that point, she was forced to rent a home and make payments for expenses she could not afford."
Bank records matched the timeframe of Alonso-Heath's story. The complaint concludes that Alonso-Heath wrote or cashed fraudulent checks in the amount of $86,951.69 in addition to withdrawing $5,814.34 that went to car and utility payments.
According to the Youth Hockey Hub, the Little Falls Youth Hockey Association is home to about 140 players. The association is now hoping to have the embezzled money partially covered via insurance and through donations.
Youth Hockey Hub says donations can be made via Venmo to username @LittleFalls-YouthHockey, or via mail to the association's PO Box 91 in Little Falls (zip code 56345).