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Father, son charged with embezzling $50,000 from West Medford Little League

Posted by Jarret Bencks  December 27, 2012 03:34 PM
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A father and son who ran the West Medford Little League for years embezzled more than $50,000 from its accounts and pocketed money from its snack stand, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone's office.

Stanley Komins, 78, of Stoneham served as the president of the league for over 20 years and his son, Stephen, 45, served as its treasurer, a statement from Leone's office said.

The elder Komins allegedly wrote over $38,000 in league checks to himself between 2007 and 2011, and his son wrote $4,000 in checks to himself between 2007 and 2009 and also wrote checks to a friend - who would then give the cash back to him - for an unspecified amount last year, according to prosecutors.

When the pair turned over league finances last year, all that was left was a bank account with $9 in it and a white envelope containing a $100 bill, John D'Orazio, the league's current president, said in a phone interview Thursday.

"They had run the league like it was their family business," D'Orazio said, "and that's obviously not what a league should be - it's a nonprofit."

Complaints were filed against both men Dec. 17, District Attorney spokeswoman Stephanie Guyotte said.

Reached by phone Thursday, Stanley Komins said he was unaware of the charges and had not recently spoken to investigators.

"I don't know anything about it," he said. "I haven't even heard from them in two years."

Stanley Komins announced his retirement in October 2011, but was reluctant to provide the league's board with detailed financial information, D'Orazio said. He finally did in November 2011, when the shortfalls were discovered, D'Orazio said.

The league hired an outside auditor, who found numerous discrepancies in the league's account, which led to an investigation by Medford Police and the District Attorney's office, prosecutors said.

A review of revenue from the league's snack stand -- which the Komins ran during games -- found deposits into league accounts were lower than expected, and that Stanley Komins made deposits into his personal bank account of small bills and change during the snack stand's seasonal operation, prosecutors said.

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

In addition to the embezzlement, the Komins also passed on unpaid league bills, including debts to Home Depot for $600; a $1,500 invoice from a landscaper; and an umpire who hadn't been paid for $350 in work, D'Orazio said.

Since the Komins left, the league has used money from fund-raising, donations, and sponsorships to purchase a new scoreboard, speaker system, and batting cage, D'Orazio said.

"We wanted to clean up the mess we had been left," he said. "You never had transparency. You didn't know if there was $9 in account or $90,000. Now people have a good sense."

The league has been able to recoup $35,000 of the money allegedly embezzled from its insurance policy through Little League International, which oversees all community Little Leagues, D'Orazio said.

When reached by phone Thursday, Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn said the city had never taken any involvement in the financial workings of the league. He didn't recall having ever met Stephen Komins, but Stanley Komins was a prominent figure in the city, McGlynn said.

"He was very well known around town," McGlynn said. "It's very surprising."

Both Stanley and Stephen Komins are expected to be arraigned in Somerville District Court Jan. 4.

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

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