Former Director Of Youth Sports Group Pleads Not Guilty To Embezzling $13,500
The former director of the Wyoming Youth Sports Association pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $13,500 from a youth sports organization during her arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday
Katherine Sue Strom, 47, was charged with two felony counts of grand larceny and two counts of misdemeanor larceny in October, and was bound over to district court last month, according to court records.
If convicted she faces up to 10 years behind bars for each of the felony counts.
The case began March when Suzie Koehn, the new state director of the Wyoming Youth Sports Association, told police that she had not been able to contact Strom, who had been the sole director for about 10 years, according to an affidavit filed with Natrona County Circuit Court.
The WYSA, which conducts AAU volleyball programs, had not had a a board of directors, Koehn told police. The director position was unpaid until 2010 when compensation was set at $500, then $1,000 in 2011, and $1,500 from 2012 forward, she said.
Koehn contacted Hilltop National Bank because she needed to deposit checks and transfer the WYSA's account from Strom's name to hers. During that conversation, Koehn learned the account had only $877.22, which it should have had much more.
Police searched bank records and found Strom had written unauthorized checks to herself totaling $12,500.
Police also found checks for purchases, some unauthorized, from Amazon and a sporting goods store for more than $1,700, according to the affidavit.
Strom told police she had been a volunteer and tried to quit the association, so the board agreed to allow her to "backpay" herself for the years she worked for free.
However, police found a check written in 2009 which was before the board authorized the back pay policy.
Strom is free on $5,000 bond.