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Former Medford Little League officials arraigned on embezzlement charges

Posted by Marcia Dick  January 4, 2013 11:05 AM

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David Sokol/Pool photo

Stanley Komins and his son, Steven, during an appearance in Somerville District Court Friday.

Prosecutors have said a father and son who ran the West Medford Hillside Little League embezzled over $50,000 from the organization, but a copy of a police report obtained by the Globe indicates that figure may reach more than $180,000.

Stanley Komins, 78 and Steven Komins, 45, both of Stoneham, appeared in Somerville District Court Friday morning for arraignment on embezzlement charges, where they were ordered to surrender their passports and not leave the state by Judge Neil Walker.

An audit of the league, conducted in November 2011 by accounting firm Magnan, Grizzairo and Associates, found $180,970 in unjustified financial irregularities dating back to 2006, according to the report, written by Medford police Lieutenant Michael Goulding.

"The financial records for the West Medford Hillside Little League were in shambles," Goulding wrote. "...Their (the Komins) efforts of blocking access to the WMHLL accounts and financials and failing to keep and provide accurate records is troubling."

The Komins, who had sole possession of the league's bank account with Brookline Bank, allegedly regularly wrote themselves checks from the league's account between 2007 and 2011, took out a $10,000 loan from the bank for construction of a new snack stand that was never built and pocketed money from the league's snack stand, according to prosecutors.

They also used league money to make personal purchases at BJ's Wholesale Club of about $1,700, including small items like cigarettes and magazines, as well as a bed and bed frame, according to the police report.

Questions about the league’s financial status arose when Stanley Komins announced his retirement in October 2011, but refused to hand over the books, going as far as attempting to close the account before the board could have a chance to review it, Goulding wrote. That move was blocked by the league's board, which received control of the league's finances in early November. 

At that time, the league's bank account had $9 in it, according to one league official. Stanley Komins provided the league with a $100 bill in a white envelope and suggested the open a new bank account with it, according to the police report. The league has managed to recoup about $35,000 through its insurance plan, a league official previously said.

The Komins said little in their appearance in court Friday morning, only responding to questions from Walker on their understanding of the conditions of their release, and the appointment of a state-funded lawyer for them. They refused requests for comment after proceedings.

The elder Komins served as president of the league for over 20 years and his son served as treasurer. Stanley Komins was inducted into the Mustangs Hall of Fame in 2002, which honors former Medford High School athletes as well as coaches and community leaders, according to its website.

It took prosecutors and police over a year to compile the case against the men, Assistant District Attorney Lila Palmer said in court Friday.

"This was a complicated case," she said. "... and this is a strong case."

Stanley Komins is charged with larceny by embezzlement over $250, and Stephen Komins is charged with larceny by embezzlement over $250, uttering a false check, and forgery by check.

They are slated to appear in court next on Feb. 8 for a hearing.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JarretBencks.

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