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Woman sentenced for embezzlement from non-profit

Kathryn Rose Merritt

A Solon Township woman was sentenced Tuesday for embezzling funds from the Cedar Springs Junior Ball League.

Kathryn (Katie) Rose Merritt, 38, entered a guilty plea earlier this year to embezzlement of less than $200.00 from a nonprofit corporation, which is a misdemeanor. She originally was facing a felony, and up to 10-years in prison on a charge of embezzling more than $1,000 but less than $20,000.

Merritt was sentenced Tuesday, August 3, to 10 days in jail, probation for 2 years, and 240 volunteer hours in 12 months. She also paid $10,000 in restitution and must repay the remainder (about $14,000) over two years. An apology letter was also written to players, family, and sponsors.

The investigation got underway last year when Amy Gillette, president of CSJBL, filed an embezzlement complaint. Gillette told investigators that she retrieved bank statements and reviewed deposits and withdrawals, noting several financial discrepancies. 

Cash withdrawals, purchases at hotels and car rentals were discovered during the probe. The embezzlement reportedly occurred between 2013 and 2020.

Kent County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Price wrote in a probable cause affidavit that Merritt was interviewed “and confessed that the card was used by her to make purchases that were not approved.’’

The unauthorized transactions topped $24,300, court records show.

In the apology letter written by Merritt, she noted that she used poor judgment, and that the misuse of funds was completely wrong and went against all moral character. She said she was disappointed in herself and asked for forgiveness.

She is currently in custody at the Kent County Correctional facility.

Cedar Springs Junior Ball League has a 16-acre facility on Shaner Avenue NE near 17 Mile Road and offers a variety of programming for children.

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