Police: Sammamish man stole $20k from kids' club

Police: Sammamish man stole $20k from kids' club »Play Video
SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Police have arrested a local coach accused of stealing money from the players and their families.

Chuck Leinas was arrested on Wednesday and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of theft.

The Spartan Baseball Club, a select summer league for boys ages 8 to 13, formed last August, but the league says its volunteer treasurer has already drained the club's accounts of more than $20,000.

League president Rob Rosemont said tam parent Chuck Leinas stepped up to be a coach and treasurer. Leinas, according to police, had his own ATM card for league accounts, and he used it at least 90 times to steal thousands from the kids.

Rosemont first realized the cash was missing last month when Wells Fargo sent him an e-mail, stating the league accounts were overdrawn.

"And I got online, and I was shocked at what I saw -- just charge after charge, ATM withdrawals made by our treasurer," said Rosemont.

Rosemont said Leinas apologized when he was confronted, and promised to repay the money by the end of January. But Leinas billed the league for his services instead. And according to his invoice, the club owed him more than $12,000.

"And that's what he's telling us -- through the course of his appointment as treasurer of this club, he's done things outside the scope of his duty as treasurer, and therefore he's billed the club approximately $100 per hour for time that he has put in," said Rosemont.

Investigators have seized financial documents and computers from Leinas to find out when he wrote the invoice before or after the league's allegations.

Police said Leinas spent more than three hours trying to explain what happened to $21,000 for the Spartan Baseball Club.

Leinas has resigned from the board of directors, and his name has been taken off the club's Web site. His son still plays on the team, but the league must explain the situation to the other players and raise funds to get the teams back on the field.

'We have 130 kids in our program that are excited to play baseball this summer. And we are $20,000 short right now," Rosemont said.

The league is brand new, and the kids haven't even played a game yet. The club has practiced for months, but the league must raise more money in order to get the teams into some tournaments.

Anyone who'd like to contribute to the club can do so by donating to the Problem Solvers Fund.