In 2009, the Turlock Police Department filed allegations against Marc Anthony Howze, the former president of the Turlock Youth Football league, with embezzling funds from the organization.
On July 23rd, 2012, Howze pleaded no contest to a felony charge of embezzlement at the Stanislaus County Superior Court.
According to the allegations filed against Howze, the amount embezzled is said to be somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. Investigations began in April 2009; however, the embezzlement of the funds was occurring from January 2007 to December 2008.
Current Turlock Youth Football President Joe Lewis stated that the embezzlement had been discovered based on small irregularities noticed on monthly financial statements provided to the Board at monthly board meetings, treasurer reports, and suspicious behavior such as Marc Howze wanting to make the deposits himself.
“Ted Howze was one of the individuals responsible for bringing the potential of embezzlement to the attention of the full TYF Board,” said Lewis.
Ted Howze, who is not related to Marc Howze, had only been on the TYF Board for 2 months when he noticed the balance sheets were not matching up from month to month.
“The former President and Treasurer of Turlock Youth Football appear to have worked in conjunction to hide the embezzlement from the rest of the TYF Board as long as possible, even going to extreme measures such as providing the rest of the TYF Board with falsified financial documents,” stated Lewis in a May 25, 2009, TurlockCityNews.com article.
After investing the league’s checking account, records were found showing Howze writing checks from the league’s funds to pay for personal expenses, such as a new laptop for his wife and a $4,000 loan to former treasurer James Chandler to save his house from going into foreclosure. This amount, however, was paid back with Chandler’s bonus.
“Even if he did pay it back with his bonus, it still wasn’t right,” stated Lewis.
Once the Board took the discrepancies to the Turlock Police Department, investigators found that Howze had made 42 cash withdrawals, and wrote 21 checks to his wife. The amount for the withdrawals and checks amounted to more than $48,000. There is suspicion, however, that a larger amount had been embezzled from funds that were not deposited.
According to TYF President Joe Lewis, TYF has implemented new accounting practices to ensure transparency and consistency in their financial records, such as documents needing signatures from at least three Board Members.
“Tough new financial accountability standards have been instituted including: 1) All checks are approved by a vote of the entire TYF Board and written at board meetings. 2) Any cash transaction is documented & verified by multiple Board members. 3) Each Board member receives a balance sheet and photocopy of the league bank statement each month. 4) The league will retain outside accounting services to perform annual audits and prepare non-profit tax filings.”
According to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, Marc Howze is scheduled to surrender himself to their custody on November 15th, 2012. Howze is to repay $25,000 of the embezzled funds, have a 3-year felony probation period, as well as spending 120 days in jail, in compliance to the courts order.
Turlock Youth Football Embezzlement Investigation