Three people have been accused of of embezzling thousands of dollars from a Clare County wrestling club.
Jason Blain, 32, Amanda Blain, 30, and Michelle Voories, 29, were arraigned Thursday, Dec. 21 on the charge of embezzlement over $1,000 and under $20,000 from the former Farwell Wrestling Club.
The bond was set at $50,000 personal recognizance and all have been released from jail, the sheriff said.
Investigators said the trio embezzled approximately $6,000 from club funds by use of the team's debit card and made other transactions within the account. Members said they were part of the nonprofit.
“This is the second hit that we’ve taken in the last two years of two different incidents,” said Russell Brugger, the club’s president.
First allegations of sexual misconduct against a former coach — now this.
“It’s hard,” Brugger said. “I mean, it’s just hard to think that people will take advantage of the youth programs like they have.”
Few details have been released on the club’s depleted bank account.
The club has kept wrestling, even under the circumstances.
“It shows we have the capabilities within our community,” Brugger said. “The kids enjoy it. It gives them a chance to make new friends and become a big wrestling family.”
Brugger said five years ago, they had nearly 50 athletes. Now, only 18. He said for the school, the importance lies in the fact there are no other options.
“It helps brings kids together after school,” said Harris Schaub, the club’s new head coach. “They don’t have many programs that they are offering these days.”
Coach Schaub said it’s the only wrestling program left in Farwell and hopes the theft doesn’t hurt the kids.
“I’ve wrestled in high school and I couldn’t imagine wanting to sign up for a wrestling team and not having it,” Schaub said. “The thought of having to travel somewhere else to wrestle, not everybody can do that. A lot of them have the drive to keep going and they want to do it.”
The three are expected back in court in January.
While the team aims at finishing strong and still planning to host a tournament on January 6.
“Just maintain a level head,” Schaub said. “Keep pushing forward with a positive attitude.”
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