TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - A local little league is now broke after its president admitted to stealing all the money.
This story is hitting home for many in the area since smaller athletic leagues and booster clubs are also commonly robbed by the people chosen to keep that money safe.
This year alone, the president of Inverness Little League was arrested for stealing $8,500. The president of Kathleen High school's booster club allegedly stole $11,000. And the treasurer of George Jenkins High school chorus booster was also arrested for taking $11,000.
Now we can add John Farrar to that list after he turned himself in to Tarpon Springs police. They say he knew his board was about to find out that he stole nearly $13,000 from the league he was supposed to be overseeing.
"(The admission) is very odd. We don't normally have that. Usually we receive a complaint first from a victim," Sgt. Bob Faugno of the Tarpon Springs Police Department said of Farrar.
The fields of the Tarpon Springs Little League Wednesday were as empty as its bank account. The league now has to start from scratch. We reached a board member by phone and he told us that money was needed for a new scoreboard, new equipment and for maintaining the fields. Now they plan to do whatever they can to restore the community's confidence.
"Heartbroken, very heartbroken," Kim Meade said of the situation. She and her husband own a small business, Slice of Heaven Pizza, and decided to sponsor a league team this year only to find out their donations were stolen.
"To see these kids giving it all their heart and you know they go to school and then they go play baseball and then somebody takes that all away from them," she said.
"They need a new scoreboard; $12,000 and you have it and you didn't give it to them?"
Despite the theft, Meade knows her sponsorship is important to the kids and she says she'll do it again next year.
Just over a year ago, 10News reporter Eric Glasser compiled a similar story about local embezzlement.
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