The former president of the Turlock Youth Football league has been sentenced to jail time and probation for embezzling thousands of dollars from the organization.
Marc Anthony Howze, 47, pleaded no contest in Stanislaus County Superior Court on July 23 to a felony charge of embezzlement.
Marc Howze was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years felony probation. He also was ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution, according to court records.
It is suspected Marc Howze’s embezzlement reached between $50,000 and $100,000, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.
The embezzlement of the funds occurred between January 2007 and December 2008.
The discrepancies came to the notice of TYF Board of Directors in early 2009. Board members Ted Howze (no relation to the defendant) and Joe Lewis questioned why the Board was getting color-coded documents detailing the league’s finances from Marc Howze and treasurer James Chandler instead of bank statements.
One of the color-coded documents given to the Board claimed a TYF account balance of a little more than $20,000, but a bank statement for the same time period showed a balance of $549.79.
Court records state the Board members went to Chandler to ask him about the discrepancies and Chandler told them he had stopped doing the official treasurer duties awhile back and everything was being handled by Marc Howze. He also told them that Marc Howze had loaned him $4,000 from the TYF account to save his house from going into foreclosure and that he had paid it back. No criminal charges have been filed against Chandler.
Lewis started looking into the league’s checking account and found some oddities, including three checks that were written to Marc Howze’s wife, all to pay for the same laptop.
The Board took their concerns to the Turlock Police Department and investigators launched an investigation into the matter.
Investigators found Marc Howze made 42 cash withdrawals totaling more than $20,000 and wrote 21 checks to his wife for more than $28,000, according to the court records. The checks and withdrawals could not all be reconciled to the league’s expenses according to investigators.
In court records, Turlock Police Detective James McWilliams stated that it would be difficult to gauge the exact amount missing from the account because there were monies from admissions and concessions that were allegedly never deposited into the account.
Marc Howze is scheduled to surrender himself to the custody of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department on Nov. 15.
Since the embezzlement was discovered the TYF began implementing new accounting practices.