Police investigating Owen Babe Ruth embezzlement

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News

A report has been filed by the Black Mountain Police Department alleging someone had embezzled funds from the Owen Babe Ruth League.

The report, filed Feb. 20, said the total funds involved were $17,856.84.

Owen Babe Ruth Board member Frank Cappelli said the funds were mishandled starting in 2020 and ending in 2022.

He provided a statement to Black Mountain News that called the embezzlement a "troubling discovery." He said the board only recently found out about it and consulted with attorneys and reported it to the police.

"We understand that this news may be distressing to you, as it was to our board" Cappelli read from the statement. "We want to assure you that we are taking the matter very seriously and have conducted an internal investigation to determine the root cause of the issue and are taking steps to address the situation."

Cappelli said the responsible party has been removed and the board has been putting in place "stronger internal controls" to prevent future incidents.

"Our relationship with you is built on trust and we take this responsibility very seriously," Cappelli read from the statement. "We are committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in all financial matters, and we will continue to work to regain your trust."

The statement said the league is "committed to providing a positive experience" for players and hopes to use contributions to support the programs.

"We believe that this experience will make us a stronger and more accountable organization and we hope that you will continue to support us as we work to regain your trust," Cappelli read from the statement. "We are grateful for your past support and your ongoing commitment to our youth baseball and softball program."

Black Mountain Police Chief Steve Parker said the department could not make any comments on the case as it is an ongoing investigation, but no arrests have been made at this time.