Complaints from unpaid vendors were one factor that led North Central Little League to believe that money was stolen, league officials said last week after the husband of the former league treasurer was accused by police of taking $36,000 to support his drug habit.
There were also inconsistencies in the monthly financial reports that ultimately led the board to believe that no less than $25,000 was missing from capital and operational accounts, according to a news release the league issued after the arrest of Christopher E. Dollak.
Dollak, 32, of 932 Evans St. in South Bethlehem is the husband of Amy Dollak, who was league treasurer while the thefts were taking place between early 2012 and September, according to police.
According to league officials, the board, already suspicious of financial inconsistencies, started requesting supplemental information from Amy Dollak in the spring. She never complied.
“After the conclusion of the spring season, and discussion amongst members of the Board of Directors, at the board’s request all materials related to the position of Treasurer were turned over and an internal audit was begun,” the league news release said.
“It was during this audit that the suspected discrepancies were found and confirmed. The Board of Directors then took immediate action and a police report was filed.”
Amy Dollak has not been criminally charged in the theft, though she has since been removed as league treasurer, league officials said. She has been replaced by Bob Fyrer.
Amy Dollak was read her Miranda warnings before police interviewed her about the thefts, according to a criminal complaint against her husband.
According to police, Amy Dollak, as manager of league finances, would receive money for dues and sales, and would frequently bring the money home to deposit in the bank the following day.
Christopher Dollak began to go into the deposit bag and remove money to support his drug addiction, police said. At the beginning, he would try to replace the money he had taken, but “as time progressed and his addiction grew, he was unable to return the money to the deposit bag,” police wrote in an arrest affidavit.
In the meantime, the Little League has elected a new board of directors and is “currently overhauling all processes surrounding the handling of all monies, sponsorships, equipment, uniforms, and spending practices,” the league release said.
The league expressed gratitude for the “outpouring of support from our families, the community, and other Little Leagues in the area.”
“The board of directors is also extremely grateful to the many people and companies that we currently hold debts with for their patience, understanding, and sensitivity to the situation at hand,” the release said. The league “intends to completely pay off all outstanding debts as soon as the league is capable.”
The league intends to carry on for the 2014 season for the almost 200 children who play, the release said. The North Central Little League is based in the city and accepts boys and girls ages 5 through 16. Its home field is on Memorial Avenue near the Bernie Fritz Memorial Playground.
There has been a number of alleged embezzlement and theft cases in Bethlehem this year. For example:
- Last month, city police reported that they are investigating the theft of more than $46,000 from the city office of the Lehigh Valley Drug and Alcohol Intake Unit, a bi-county agency that provides drug and alcohol addiction treatment services.
- Also in September, John D. Lindemuth was sentenced to 11 to 22 months in Northampton County Prison—on work release—for embezzling $240,000 over several years from the Bethlehem Masonic Lodge.
- In August, police said they were investigating the possible theft of $25,000 to $50,000 from the Bethlehem YMCA by one of the non-profit’s employees.
- In January, Bradley H. Scheetz, the former president of the Bethlehem Steelers youth football association, was charged with embezzling more than $34,000 of the organization’s funds between April 2011 and October 2012.