The now-former president of the Bethlehem Steelers youth football association has been charged with embezzling more than $34,000 of the organization’s funds, according to court records.
Bradley Henry Scheetz, 41, of 329 Sixth Ave., Bethlehem, allegedly used an organization Bank of America debit card – which only he had access to – to make $34,493 in unauthorized withdrawals and purchases between April 2011 and October 2012.
His arrest on a felony charge of theft came on Jan. 11. A preliminary hearing scheduled for Monday before District Judge Wayne Maura was postponed until March 21. Scheetz remains free on $20,000 unsecured bail.
According to the arrest affidavit:
- “The unauthorized transactions included cash withdraws at bank teller windows, cash withdraws at ATMs and purchases made at stores, businesses, restaurants and gas stations."
- “According to the bank statements, some of the transactions occurred at an ATM located in the Sands Casino … Additional purchases were made at a Pennsylvania Liquor Store and auto parts stores.”
- During the same time frame as the unauthorized transactions, legitimate organization purchases were being made with the same debit card and there were no reports of a lost or stolen bank card and “no notice of incorrect or failed usage” of the card PIN number was reported to or by the bank.
- The missing funds became apparent to organization board members in November as they tried to plan a fundraising event, but realized they did not have enough money to pay a vendor for necessary supplies.
The Bethlehem Steelers operate a number of youth football teams and cheerleading squads, playing their home games at the Monocacy Park complex.
Participating families raise money to support the league through lottery calendar sales, hoagie sales, sign and program advertising and a snack stand that parents are required to participate in operating.
The organization’s board of directors addresses this scandal in a message on the Steelers home page, which says the following:
In November 2012, the Board of Directors discovered financial irregularities in the organization's general fund. Due to the severity of this issue, the Board took swift and immediate action. This action consisted of many steps, one of which involved contacting and cooperating fully with the Bethlehem Police Department.
The current board members have been acting diligently to install an improved system of checks and balances reflective of today's technological advances with online banking and accounting systems. These systems will prevent such actions from occurring in the future.
The Bethlehem Steelers organization is saddened by the alleged actions of what appears to be one individual. However, the Bethlehem Steelers Athletic Association has many volunteers who serve as role models for our children, and remains steadfast in its commitment to provide an exceptional environment for teaching the fundamentals of football and cheerleading, with good sportsmanship, and a love for the game.