Simcoe youth soccer club vows to play on in wake of fraud charges against former treasurer

UPDATE: Story updated March 8 to add response from soccer club

Fraud charges against the former treasurer of a youth soccer club in Norfolk County will not keep kids off the pitch this summer.

OPP said a 33-year-old Norfolk man was arrested on Friday and charged with fraud over $5,000, criminal breach of trust and using forged documents.

He is alleged to have stolen “thousands of dollars” from the club, according to police. The Spectator has confirmed that the club in question is the Simcoe and District Youth Soccer Club.

“SDYSC would like to assure parents, players, coaches, and sponsors that we will move ahead as planned,” club president Brian Suggett said in an emailed statement to The Spectator.

The arrest followed a fraud investigation by the OPP crime unit that started in February after the club went to police.

“Board members, while reviewing club finances, came upon some information which caused us to conduct an internal audit of our accounts,” Suggett said.

“It was during this audit that we discovered several financial irregularities and that club funds were missing.”

Suggett said in light of the criminal charges — which have not been tried in court — the club has parted ways with the accused.

“We can confirm that he is not longer a part of the organization,” Suggett said.

Citing the ongoing investigation and pending court process, neither the club nor police would release further details about the alleged fraud, including the precise amount thought to have been embezzled.

Anyone with additional information about the alleged fraud is asked to contact police.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator