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Former youth club treasurer faces charges

May 15, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

The former treasurer of an area children's athletic club was charged Tuesday with bilking the nonprofit group out of more than $9,000, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Denise Marie Bowers, 40, of 1048 Brinker Drive, Hagerstown, was served a criminal summons Tuesday charging her with two counts of theft less than $500 and one count of theft greater than $500 and theft scheme greater than $500.

Bowers was the volunteer treasurer at the Williamsport Wrestling Club for the 2000-01 season. Police allege in charging documents that she wrote checks out to herself on Williamsport Wrestling Club accounts and deposited checks made to the club into her own bank account at various times between July 1, 2000, and Oct. 5, 2001.

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Bowers' attorney, Gordon Lynn, said his client didn't steal any money and inherited an already mismanaged accounting system when she was appointed treasurer.

Lynn said Bowers was not prepared for the treasurer job and received no assistance from the other officers.

"She was absolutely devastated" when notified of the allegations, Lynn said.

Bowers is the owner of Mid-Valley Mortgage and has been a volunteer in the community for years, he said.

"She doesn't know what to make of all this," Lynn said.

According to charging documents, police were notified in April of discrepancies in the club's accounting by attorney Edward Kuczynski, who is affiliated with the club.

Kuczynski and Williamsport Wrestling Club officials could not be reached for comment.

During their investigation, police allegedly found Bowers failed to make deposits, causing several checks to bounce, misrepresented income and debts, and deposited donation checks from CertainTeed Corp. in Williamsport and Conococheague Tribe 84 Improved Order of Red Men into her bank account.

Club officials became suspicious of Bowers' accounting practices after determining the club's checking and certificate of deposit accounts were inaccurate and Bowers failed to provide banking records promptly.

The penalty for theft less than $500 is 18 months in jail and/or a $1,500 fine. The penalty for theft greater than $500 and theft scheme greater than $500 is 15 years in prison or a $1,000 fine for each count.

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