Reporting Nick Janes
ROCKLIN (CBS13) – The president of a local pee-wee football league is accused of stealing $20,000 from the children’s organization.
The Rocklin Junior Thunder trusted the former leader with the league’s cash, but later found out she allegedly duped them.
Before Stephanie Abercrombie was a suspect, she was, to many of parents, a good friend. So there is a deep sense of shock and disbelief that Abercrombie could take money meant for the kids, and spend it on herself.
When the cheerleaders were on stage last year, police say Abercrombie was well on her way to stealing more than $20,000.
“That’s terrible. I don’t know what to say,” parent Karen Stengle said. “I’m shocked.”
Abercrombie, the now-former president of Rocklin Junior Thunder Football and Cheer, was arrested at her home.
She’s accused of using the non-profit youth sports organization she ran like her personal ATM machine, allegedly transferring tens of thousands of dollars right into her own bank account.
It’s been going on, investigators say, since last January.
“The money would’ve been destined for the kids, and for programs for uniforms or coaches, or paying for referees,” Rocklin Police Department Lt. Lon Milka said.
When the treasurer noticed the missing money, and got suspicious, Abercrombie allegedly forged receipts for purchases that never happened.
Parents couldn’t believe it. Many were hesitant to comment, because Abercrombie is well-known, and her children attend school in the district.
“It’s just sad. Until we know the whole story, I don’t want to think too much about it, but I hope there’s a part we don’t know about,” parent Jackie Ryan said.
The new Rocklin Junior Thunder president says, “The board of directors has already begun to implement additional measures with stricter procedures, and guidelines to better ensure the financial integrity of our program in the future. We will not let the actions of one person define our organization.”
This is the second time this has happened to the Rocklin Junior Thunder. In 2005, police say the ex-treasurer ripped off nearly $10,000. Police hope this serves as a wake-up call for better security measures.