A former treasurer of the Eatonville Youth Sports Association faces charges of theft for allegedly misusing at least $1,000 of the organization’s money over a period of several months.
Nicole E. Vanbuskirk of Eatonville was charged with 12 counts of third-degree theft related to missing funds from the 2011-2012 EYSA sports season, according to charging documents. Her case is scheduled for a hearing in June.
Eatonville Police Chief Jason McGuire said three EYSA accounts are involved. Ron Curtis, EYSA president, said he suspects more funds are missing.
McGuire said police attempted to interview Vanbuskirk regarding the allegations. She retained an attorney and opted not to talk to police, according to the report.
Vanbuskirk’s attorney, Tiffany Archer, did not respond to a reporter’s request for comment Thursday.
Police said they have gathered hundreds of records that show undocumented purchases and missing funds from the youth sports organization, which provides soccer, basketball and baseball programs for hundreds of boys and girls ages 4 to 14 in the Mount Rainier foothills town.
EYSA struggled financially during Vanbuskirk’s tenure and programs have suffered, as has public confidence in the organization, Curtis said. EYSA has offered scholarships for high school students, but a lack of funds prevented them from being offered last year. He said he’s had to cut back on high school workers to save money.
“We need to buy new equipment,” he said. “We barely had enough to keep the sports going last year.”
According to the police report, bank records show $1,060 unaccounted for over three EYSA sports seasons between March and September 2011.
Vanbuskirk served as the board’s volunteer treasurer from 2009 until she resigned in June 2012. During that time, she was the only person responsible for deposits and the group’s cash box, according to the report.
Tera Gayman, the EYSA treasurer after Vanbuskirk, noticed the missing funds in past bank records after taking over in August 2012, according to a written statement. An internal audit completed by Gayman revealed money collected over the three seasons in 2011 did not match the amounts deposited.
The police report also shows Vanbuskirk used an EYSA account to purchase paint and sanding supplies in May 2012, the police report says. Another former board member told police her husband’s boat was painted with supplies provided by Vanbuskirk. The former board member told police she was unaware if the supplies were paid for with EYSA funds.
The former board member also told police that Vanbuskirk’s family would receive new equipment each time Vanbuskirk purchased new EYSA items. At a meeting, some board members told an officer that Vanbuskirk’s daughter, who worked as an EYSA referee, was paid more than the other referees, according the officer’s report.
The report also states Vanbuskirk purchased office supplies that cannot be tracked down.
Curtis, the EYSA president, said the organization only has records for last year, and he suspects the amount missing is roughly $4,000. He, along with another witness interviewed by police, said they believe Vanbuskirk held on to paperwork from previous years.
Vanbuskirk also is a former board member for both the Eatonville Elementary School PTA and the Eatonville Cooperative Nursery School.
Officials at both schools said they have no knowledge of theft committed during her tenure.
Vanbuskirk also is listed as a defendant in a Pierce County Superior Court case filed last week. According to the complaint, Nicole and Corey Vanbuskirk were given notice of foreclosure on their Eatonville home in April and have yet to surrender possession of the property.
The EYSA theft charges were filed in Bonney Lake Municipal Court in April. Eatonville contracts with the city of Bonney Lake for court services.
Curtis said a hearing is set for June 12.
He has a hard time talking about what happened.
“It just irks me that all these hardworking people are paying for their kids to play and she thought it was her own money,” Curtis said.