Former Milford Youth Basketball board members indicted for theft

Staff report

Two former Milford Youth Basketball Association board members were indicted on July 24 by the Clermont County Grand Jury, facing charges of fourth degree felony theft after the Miami Township Police Department completed a two-month investigation.

Shannon Wenzel of Miami Township and Carey Chesser of Stonelick Township were charged with making more than $20,000 in unauthorized charges over a six-year period, the MTPD said in a statement. Each charge of fourth degree theft carries a possible penalty of six to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

“The two members had purchasing authority to buy concession supplies which would later be sold during the games,” said Detective Greg Jenkins who led the investigation. “While making those purchases, they were adding items for their own personal use and paying for those items with the association funds.”

Assigned with purchasing concessions to be sold at the various gyms where the youth association holds games, Wenzel and Chesser allegedly used the organization’s funds to also purchase personal items such as dog food, DVDs, gift cards and person hygiene products.

A complaint was filed with the MTPD after board members questioned why they weren’t making as much money from their concession sales as they believed they should have. Wenzel and Chesser routinely failed to provide the board receipts for their purchases.

Following the end of the investigation, the organization’s board of directors unanimously voted to remove the accused from the board, where they served for up to a decade.

Both Wenzel and Chesser are mothers to children who have played in the organization.

The Milford Youth Basketball Association is a nonprofit that has no official affiliation with the Milford Exempted Village School District, but serves students in the district, grades two through 12, as well as youth athletes who are home schooled or attend parochial schools in Miami Township.

Reports had put the organization’s participants in the range of nearly 1,000 individuals.

Wenzel and Chesser were arraigned in Clermont County court on Friday, Aug. 1 and were released on bond. They were scheduled to appear in court again on Aug. 6 in front of Judge Richard P. Ferenc.