Woman charged in thefts from youth football club

Indictment alleges she also stole from employer

November 20, 2003|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

The former treasurer of a Howard County youth football club has been indicted on theft charges, accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the club and from her former employer.

Two indictments were unsealed yesterday charging Harriet Williams, 51, of the 10200 block of Fairway Drive in Ellicott City with theft, a day after a Howard County grand jury charged her with the crimes.

Williams is accused in court papers of taking at least $71,000 in checks from the Columbia Bulldogs Association over two years and with taking about $64,000 in checks from her former employer, Maryland Motor Truck Association Inc.

Organizers have said in court papers that the financial loss led to the football club's failure.

A new club, Columbia Ravens Football Inc., was formed this year and filed a lawsuit against Williams on behalf of its predecessor. The lawsuit accuses Williams of taking the money and trying to hide the alleged thefts through "false financial statements."

According to charging documents, the money was discovered missing in February after Williams told association members that the group was low on funds - information that caught a Columbia business executive, who had given thousands of dollars to the organization, by surprise.

The organization discovered checks that were made payable to Williams or to "cash" that were deposited into Williams' bank account, according to documents filed last week in Howard County District Court.

Organization leaders told authorities that it has no paid employees, and that Williams worked as a volunteer, according to the documents.

The investigation into the football club's finances also turned up Maryland Motor Truck Association checks that had been deposited into the football association's account, charging documents say.

Williams worked as a bookkeeper for the company, according to the documents.

Williams' attorney, Steven A. Allen, declined to comment on the case.

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