UPDATED March 5 at 9:45 p.m.
Board members with the Dacula-based Mountain View Athletic Association are currently investigating an alleged fraud that may have resulted in a significant financial loss to the organization.
On March 1, the Mountain View Athletic Association issued the following statement in an email to members:
The Mountain View Athletic Association has recently discovered that it may have been a victim of a significant fraud from a member of the Executive Board. We are currently in a thorough process to investigate how this alleged fraud occurred, what appears to have been misappropriated, and to determine how the organization should proceed to mitigate its potential losses. Although the investigation is incomplete, significant progress has been made. The Executive Board, on the advice of legal counsel, will be unable to discuss this matter while the investigation continues. However, please rest assured that we are working tirelessly to achieve a prompt resolution to this unfortunate incident so we can completely focus on our primary objective of providing quality athletic activities for our youth.
Attempts to reach members of the Mountain View Athletic Association (MVAA) for comment have been unsuccessful. In an email to Dacula Patch, Gwinnett County Police public information officer Cpl. Ed Ritter indicated that no report appeared to have been filed regarding the alleged fraud as of 11:20 Tuesday morning. However, an email distributed by the MVAA on March 5 at 6:31 p.m. indicated a report had been made:
The Mountain View Athletic Association has been working tirelessly to complete its internal investigation of fraud. As a result of our investigation, a police report with the Gwinnett County Police Department has been filed. Although this matter is now out of our hands, we trust that the legal authorities will bring a just resolution for the MVAA Community.
On March 5 at 9:34 p.m., Ritter confirmed via email that GCPD had been contacted on Tuesday, but advised no report was filed.
"They called earlier today to file a report and changed their mind. They are going to gather more information and call back at a later date," Ritter explained. "There is no report as of yet."
In the statement emailed Tuesday evening, Brian Mearkle, MVAA President, sought to reassure concerned parents:
Please rest assured that the MVAA Executive Board of Directors is diligently implementing new policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of future incidents. We remain committed to the youth of this community and unwavering in our endeavor to ensure that all athletic activities will continue.
In 2009, a volunteer with the Mill Creek Athletic Association allegedly embezzled $130,000 by writing checks to herself over a 5-year period. According to an AJC article from September of 2009, that theft was discovered when several bills went unpaid.
The Mountain View Athletic Association is based at Rabbit Hill Park, 401 Rabbit Hill Road in Dacula.
The MVAA baseball and softball season opens this Saturday, March 9.