Charges: Skating Club Treasurer Stole Thousands

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) – A 57-year-old man who was the treasurer of a Twin Cities ice skating club is accused of stealing more than $150,000 from the club for his personal use, according to charges filed Wednesday in Dakota County District Court.

John Paul Rodrigues of Eagan was charged with two felony counts of aggravated theft in connection with the case.

According to a criminal complaint, a board member of a non-profit ice skating club in Minneapolis told police on Dec. 14, 2009, that Rodrigues had been taking the club’s money without the club’s knowledge or permission for his personal use.

The board member said Rodrigues had been avoiding requests to verify the club’s finances, and when he did, a balance that should have been close to $25,000 was at about $300, according to the complaint.

In meetings that followed, Rodrigues admitted to board members with the club that he owed the club money and thought it was about $25,000, but asked the club to check financial records and let him know how much he owed, the complaint states. Rodrigues was not cooperative in providing the club financial records that he had.

Rodrigues took over as treasurer of the club in August of 2004 and resigned from the position on Nov. 4, 2010, after he was confronted about the missing money, according to the complaint. He had sole access to the club’s bank account and an ATM card associated with the account.

A review of the account from January 2005 to October 2009 showed several cash withdrawals totaling more than $119,000. He allegedly took the money out of a bank near his Eagan home, the complaint states.

Further investigation showed that about $157,500 in cash withdrawals was unaccounted for. The investigation showed he allegedly transferred more than $25,000 from the club to his personal account from May 1 to Oct. 31 of 2009. It also revealed transfers totaling more than $32,000 from the club’s account to his personal account from Nov. 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009.

If convicted, Rodrigues faces up to 20 years in prison and/or $40,000 in fines.


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