RICHMOND (Covering Katy News) – The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a woman who is accused of stealing more than $200,000 from a youth hockey league that has players from all over the Houston area.
The Interscholastic Hockey League uses a Houston post office box as an address. According to its website, the league utilizes five different ice areas in Houston, Sugar Land, and College Station for its games and practices.
While budgeting for the league, the president of the Interscholastic Hockey League for teens 13-18 years of age noticed discrepancies. He told deputies that he confronted Michele Bernier, the treasurer. He also said the suspect admitted withdrawing money from the league’s bank account since she became treasurer in 2013.
Bernier, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, said she took the funds because of her family’s financial hardship.
League officials claim that since Bernier became the league treasurer she had stolen $223,327.
The club’s president told Sheriff’s Office Detectives that Bernier, who had hired an attorney, offered $45,000 in restitution, but the league rejected the offer.
“I cannot imagine why anyone would steal money being used to support a youth group,” said Sheriff Troy Nehls. “For five years, she pocketed almost a quarter of a million dollars while the kids in the hockey league went without. Shame, shame.”