Theft charges dropped for Dover-area youth soccer coach
Theft charges against a former youth soccer league coach have been dismissed after he repaid his former alleged victims, who were parents of boys who played in the league, according to prosecutors.
George C. Maute Jr.'s case was approved for a Rule 586 disposition on July 3, according to court records. In Pennsylvania, that's when prosecutors and the defense agree a defendant will pay a restitution, after which the defendant's criminal charges are dropped.
His case was dismissed on Aug. 2, according to court records.
"These were delays in payments," said Ed Paskey, Maute's defense attorney. "He had no reason to steal the money."
Maute, 51, of Dover Township, gave York County $4,125 to be distributed to parents of boys who previously played in the Pennsylvania Soccer Academy, according to deputy prosecutor Steve Gorman. Maute must also pay $1,000 in court costs.
Police initially alleged Maute stole $9,000 given to him by parents for tournaments and other fees.
But Gorman and chief deputy prosecutor Chuck Murphy said that after closer scrutiny, they were able to come up with a total of $4,125 that Maute owed to parents.
Paskey said a few parents inflated the amount they were owed, and that the incident was basically a matter of poor bookkeeping.
"There was never any intent to steal anything," Paskey said. "There’s no proof the money was ever missing."
Jessica Macek, the mother of one of Maute's former players, said she believes she was the victim of theft and said Maute owed her nearly $500.
"I think it wasn't right that the victims were not given an opportunity to speak in court," she said.
Restitution the goal: Gorman said he disagrees with Paskey's take on whether a theft occurred.
"We believe that there was theft," he said. "But my main concern was getting the money back that was owed to the victims."
Gorman and Murphy said they spent months trying to determine the right amount, as did Liz Gavin, a victim-witness coordinator in the York County District Attorney's Office.
Most of Maute's former alleged victims were in agreement with the resolution, the prosecutors said.
Maute has turned over the full restitution amount to the county, which is distributing it to parents, according to Kyle King, spokesman for the DA's office.
Paskey said Maute started paying back parents before the theft charges were filed.
"Kudos to the district attorney's office and Steve (Gorman) for really sinking their teeth into the finances," Paskey said.
The background: According to charging documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police, Maute repeatedly made assurances to the Pennsylvania Soccer Academy that he would pay back the money he owed to players' parents.
Maute coached an under-12 boys' team and an under-14 boys' team. A total of 18 families involved with the teams paid him a total of $8,720, according to court documents at the time.
A Pennsylvania Soccer Academy official told The York Dispatch that coaches paid about $1,500 out of their own pockets to keep afloat the two teams Maute previously coached.
The soccer academy asked Maute to leave the organization after parents complained, an academy official has said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.