A Keyes woman entrusted with the funds belonging to the Turlock Youth Soccer Association was convicted of embezzling more than $24,000 from the sports group.
Anita Ybarra, 43, pled no contest on Monday in Stanislaus County Superior Court to the embezzlement charge. According to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, Ybarra stole $24,175 from TYSA between April 2007 to January 2008.
During her time with the TYSA, Ybarra was heavily invested with the youth organization, serving as an assistant coach, a tournament coordinator, a board member, and their bookkeeper, which gave her access to the group’s funds.
The investigation into Ybarra began in 2008 when the TYSA was notified of several account discrepancies related to the association’s competitive league.
The TYSA has both a competitive league and a recreational league. The competitive league is made up of about 225 members who try-out for the teams and travel to various tournaments. The recreational league has about 2,000 members and plays locally.
After the TYSA conducted an internal investigation they turned the matter over to the Turlock Police Department, which launched its own investigation into the embezzlement allegations. Ybarra was arrested on Aug. 25, 2009.
According to the arrest warrant, Ybarra wrote numerous checks to herself totaling up to thousands of dollars. The checks from the TYSA require a second signature and most of the ones in question had the second signature of a relative of Ybarra’s, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states that Ybarra sent an e-mail to the association’s commissioner in May of 2008 that said the relative had nothing to do with the checks. She also allegedly said she had been a “bad bookkeeper.”
The checks were drawn from three accounts from Bank of America. Two were from accounts used for tournaments and one was a team account.
Ybarra’s embezzlement conviction is not her first. She has a prior conviction for stealing thousands of dollars from the Merced County Tax Collector’s Office between 1991 to 1995.
A sentencing hearing for Ybarra is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2011 in Stanislaus County Superior Court. Ybarra is facing a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.
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