Hanover sports treasurer to pay back $750K from embezzlement
The former treasure of two Hanover-area youth sports leagues could spend the next two decades on probation while he pays off more than three-quarters of a million dollars he embezzled over a six-year period.
David W. Wells, 49, of Penn Township, pleaded guilty to theft Monday, July 9, according to online court records.
Wells served as treasurer for both the Hanover Soccer Club and the South Western Youth Lacrosse organization, according to Hanover Police. For a time, he worked as a financial adviser for Counsel Trust Group, which provides wealth-management and trust services.
Hanover Police said last year, when Wells was charged, that he embezzled about $750,000 over a six-year period.
Kyle King, spokesman for the York County District Attorney's Office, said Wells will have to pay $758,217.19 in restitution.
Plea: As part of Wells' negotiated plea agreement, his other charges of theft, receiving stolen property and access device fraud were dismissed, according to online court records.
Wells was sentenced to 20 years of probation and was ordered to pay restitution, starting with $40,000 immediately, online court records state.
Wells was also ordered to pay 40 percent net income to costs and fines per month, and he is not to hold a position of financial officer in a club or as employment, court records state.
King said Wells was also ordered to not have contact with the soccer and lacrosse clubs.
Wells could be taken off probation after 10 years if all of the restitution money is paid off by then, online court records state.
Charges: Police said that while Wells was treasurer of the soccer club between 2009 and December 2016, he stole $604,719 from the club account.
Tim Swingler, president of the soccer club, alerted police in December that funds were missing from the club account, police said.
An investigation determined Wells used the soccer club account to pay his mortgage and various credit card bills, documents state.
"Wells also wrote a large number of checks to himself and withdrew money, most of which did not appear to be related to (soccer club) business," Hanover Police Detective Marci Mead wrote in charging documents.
The "suspicious activity" in the soccer club's bank account went back to December 2010, according to police.
Wells also was treasurer of the lacrosse club from December 2012 to December 2015. He stole $23,681 from the lacrosse organization during that time, charging documents state.
Work: The investigation also discovered that while he worked as a financial adviser for Counsel Trust he "redirected funds" from three different estates he managed through the company, documents state.
He wrote six checks totaling $129,600 from those three estates to Hanover Soccer Club, then used the money to pay his personal bills, according to documents.
Counsel Trust reimbursed all three clients using its own money, making the company Wells' third victim, documents state.
In early March 2017, a Counsel Trust spokesman told The York Dispatch that Wells was terminated for being under criminal investigation.
Police estimate the total amount stolen at $758,001.19.
Swingler, the Hanover Soccer Club president, said the alleged embezzlement did not affect the club's spring 2017 soccer season.
"We literally had $3,000 in the bank when the (allegations) came out in late December (2016)," he told The York Dispatch last year. "But we've been able to utilize funds we have received through registration to continue our soccer program."
Wells' attorney did not respond to a message seeking comment.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.