Crime & Courts

Former Crystal Lake Baseball league president denies theft charges

Maurer says officials are making him scapegoat for poor bookkeeping

The former Crystal Lake Baseball league president accused of embezzling about $25,000 from the youth league said the allegations are false, and the organization’s poor accounting is to blame.

Joey Maurer of Crystal Lake told the Northwest Herald on Friday that what police described as suspicious activity tied to the nonprofit’s bank accounts actually was cashier’s checks and cash payments made to vendors and umpires.

“The new board never even opened up Quickbooks,” Maurer said.

Maurer now faces felony theft charges accusing him of using the league’s debit cards to make unauthorized withdrawals and purchases between November 2014 and September 2016. He is charged with theft of more than $10,000, which is punishable by three to seven years in prison.

“I went through this like three years ago with this board, and now it’s happening again,” Maurer said.

Attempts to reach league officials Friday evening were unsuccessful.

The situation began in January 2018, when board members from the Crystal Lake Baseball league identified what they considered suspicious transactions from the league’s bank accounts and asked Lake in the Hills police to investigate, according to a news release police sent Friday.

A subsequent investigation determined that Maurer, 44, of the 1400 block of Blue Heron Drive in Crystal Lake, stole about $25,000 from the organization, police said.

Maurer surrendered Aug. 29 at the McHenry County Jail after a warrant was secured for his arrest. He posted $5,000 bail and is awaiting trial.

His next court date is scheduled for Nov. 20.

The former league president had been involved with Crystal Lake Baseball for at least a decade by the time he resigned for unrelated reasons in 2016, he said.

Crystal Lake Baseball is nonprofit organization led entirely by volunteers, according to its website. The league reported $236,741 in total revenue and $196,435 in expenses for 2017, tax records show.

The organization is funded through player membership fees, fundraising, corporate sponsorships and concession sales.

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