Police Investigate Casper Wrestling Club Ex-treasurer For Embezzlement
The Casper Police Department is investigating an alleged embezzlement of thousands of dollars from the Casper Wrestling Club by its former treasurer, according to an affidavit for a search warrant.
Two representatives of the club, Chad Barker and Diana McGinley, became suspicious about its finances in late March and early April largely because the treasurer, Wanda Atkinson, allegedly would not allow anyone to look at the books, according to the affidavit filed by detective Shannon Daley with Natrona County Circuit Court.
Barker and McGinley told Daley that the club was a nonprofit organization that raises money from donations, activities and wrestling events.
Because Atkinson would not allow people to look at the club's financial records, Barker and McGinley formed a board of directors and dismissed her.
The new board, headed by Barker, then was able to obtain the financial records from the club's credit union, but for only the past two years. Atkinson herself had been involved with the club for about 20 years, according to the affidavit
"During a very cursory review of those records, Barker and McGinley revealed several cash withdrawals (over $1000 combined) and debit card purchases that appeared to have nothing to do with what they perceived to be legitimate purchases for Casper Wrestling Club," according to the affidavit.
Payments, they found, went to restaurants, women's beauty boutiques in Colorado, a plastic surgeon in Utah, and credit card bills.
The initial estimate of these alleged illegitimate payments amounted to about $13,000, but over the past two years the checking account at the credit union dropped from to $32,000 to $6,000.
The credit union told Daley they talked to Atkinson and Barker, then froze the account because the two gave different stories about what happened with the money. Daley asked the court for a warrant to examine the credit union's books about the club.
Barker declined to comment.
Atkinson did not have a listed phone number.
Until the discovery of the alleged embezzlement, the Casper Wrestling Club did not have board of directors nor had it filed incorporation papers with the Wyoming Secretary of State. The club filed the paperwork on April 6 when Barker and McGinley approached the Casper Police Department.
Likewise, the nonprofit database Guidestar has no records of the club ever filing an application for nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service.