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Man suspected of stealing from little league pays restitution

Published On: Mar 20 2014 10:18:00 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 20 2014 05:39:43 PM CDT
Stephen Verhage

Stephen Verhage

MADISON, Wis. -

A Madison man accused of stealing approximately $201,104 from an east side little league group is paying restitution to the little league and the little league’s insurance company, his attorney said.

The little league's former president, Stephen L. Verhage, 59, of Madison, entered a not guilty plea in court on Thursday to multiple counts of theft and fraudulent writings.

Police said officers started working on the case in November 2012 when they received a complaint about the embezzlement of funds from the Kennedy Little League baseball organization.

Investigators said the fraudulent activity dates back to at least 2005.

According to the criminal complaint, Verhage was confronted on Nov. 2 by the little league vice president about someone embezzling funds from the organization's accounts. Verhage was the sole executor on the Kennedy bank accounts. The complaint details accusations that Verhage wrote checks from the Kennedy account to himself from August 2005 through January 2012 totaling about $75,474; and to "cash," which he pocketed, totaling about $44,139 between February 2007 and October 2012.

Verhage also wrote checks to buy a motorcycle and miscellaneous other fraudulent checks totaling about $8,149, the complaint said. The remaining misused funds included $63,382 to pay Verhage's personal credit cards and $9,985 for charges on credit cards in the league's name.

The complaint said Verhage began stealing from Kennedy because his small business was not doing well, and Verhage told the detective that taking the money was "easy to do."

Kennedy Little League has 60 baseball teams and serves about 650 children.

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