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Tag Archive | "James Michael Crouch"

Prosecution moves ahead on football embezzlement case


By Judy Reed

The Kent County Prosecutor’s Office is moving ahead with charges of embezzlement against the former treasurer of the Cedar Springs Youth Football League, and dropping charges against the former president.

Heather Marie Vaughn, treasurer of the 2017 board, and James Michael Crouch, former president of the 2017 board, were both charged in July 2018 with embezzlement of $1,000 but less than $20,000, which is a 10-year felony. 

The CSYFL contacted the police in March 2018, after they found they had $12,000 missing, and $6,800 in unpaid invoices. They reported that about $7,000 of the missing funds was money they had saved to buy new jerseys for the kids. 

Vaughn and Crouch were not being charged as co-defendants, as they allegedly had each taken money at different times, unknown to the other. 

Last week, the Post reported in an online article that according to police, Crouch had agreed to pay restitution in return for the charges being dropped, and in return for his testimony against Vaughn, if needed. Both he and his lawyer denied there was any deal. 

Crouch’s lawyer, Kurt Richardson, sent us this email. “Our client, Mr. Crouch, was charged with felony embezzlement, but all charges have been dismissed by the Kent County prosecutor’s office. There has been no admission of guilt or any conviction. Any implication that our client embezzled any money is simply not accurate, nor has it been proven or established in any way. Furthermore, any implication that our client was a conspirator, co-defendant, or participated in any criminal activity with Ms. Vaughn is also inaccurate.”

Assistant Prosecutor Rachel Wustman said that the bottom line is that there was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Crouch was guilty. “We decided not to go forward because of insufficient evidence. We looked at the two cases and decided to go forward with Heather Vaughn,” she explained. She added that Crouch could be called to testify, just like any other member of the board could.

Regardless of whether a deal was made or not, it’s still a fact that two money orders totaling $1,405 were paid to the Cedar Springs Youth Football League last week Monday on behalf of Crouch. This was verified to the Post by both police and the prosecutor’s office. The Post sent an email to Mr. Richardson a week ago and asked if he or Mr. Crouch would like to give a comment on the money he paid to the league, but we did not receive a response.

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Two charged in youth football embezzlement


By Judy Reed

Photo by April Victorson

Two former officers on the 2017 Cedar Springs Youth Football League board were arraigned this week on charges of embezzlement in 63rd District Court. 

According to Det. Mike Tanis, with the Kent County Sheriff Department, past president James Michael Crouch and former treasurer Heather Marie Vaughn were both charged with embezzlement of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 from a non-profit or charitable organization, which is a 10-year felony.

The CSYFL contacted the police in March, after they found they had $12,000 missing, and $6,800 in unpaid invoices. About $7,000 of the missing funds was money they had saved to buy new jerseys for the kids. 

There were only two board members responsible for the money during the 2017 year—Vaughn and Crouch.

As the investigation proceeded, it was discovered that the two board members each took money from the league at different times. The missing money was never deposited into the league’s bank account.

The current board has since been doing fundraising to make up some of the shortfall. If you would like to donate, you can do it online by visiting https://cedarspringsyouthfootball.sportngin.com/register/form/058188639.

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