West Medford Little League Officials Charged with Stealing $50K From League
Stanley Komins and Stephen Komins allegedly wrote checks from the little league account to themselves, purchased items at BJ's using little league funds and took cash proceeds from the refreshment stand.
Editor's note: This article was updated on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 2:10 p.m. with comments from West Medford/Hillside Little League President John D'Orazio, and the insurance claim figure was corrected at 2:45 p.m.
A father and son who have served as president and treasurer of the West Medford Little League organization for years have been charged with larceny for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from the league, according to a press release from Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone's office.
Stanley Komins, 78, of Stoneham is charged with larceny by embezzlement over $250 and his son Stephen Komins, 45, also of Stoneham is charged with larceny by embezzlement over $250, uttering a false check, and forgery by check.
Both men will be arraigned on Jan. 4 in Somerville District Court.
"This father and son allegedly used their leadership positions to steal from the youth little league, taking money that was meant to be used for the West Medford youth baseball community for their own personal use," Leone said in the press release. "The defendants violated the trust of parents, players and the community."
A home phone number listed for both Stanley Komins and Stephen Komins was not in service. The District Attorney's office did not have information early Thursday afternoon on attorneys who are representing either man in this case.
Stanley Komins was president of the board of directors of the West Medford Little League for more than 20 years and Stephen Komins held the position of treasurer for many years, according to Leone's office.
In October 2011, Stanley Komins announced his retirement from the little league board and, according to Leone's office, the board inquired about the league's finances and Komins allegedly refused to provide past records.
An auditing firm was hired by the league and noticed discrepancies in the little league records, the press release said. The Medford Police Department was contacted and, in conjunction with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, launched an investigation.
Current West Medford/Hillside Little League President John D'Orazio said that the league brought on a new board after Stanley Komins' retirement and, after discovering the financial discrepancies and hiring the auditing firm, filed an insurance claim with the league's policy.
"In order to do that, we had to file a police report with the Medford Police," D'Orazio said, adding that the league is currently in good financial standing. "We got the maximum you could get under the policy—we recouped $35,000 in the insurance claim. We’re a season in with the new board and we’re sitting around $18,000 ... then we’re also talking to the other leagues in Medford about a merger, but we are in a good financial place."
D'Orazio said the potential merger with other little league organizations is not a result of the allegations against the Kominses.
"Not as many kids are playing baseball any longer. I think our enrollment is down from a few years ago," he said. "Now we’re down to low 200s. It’s just a challenge in terms of across the city fielding teams in the appropriate age groups."
Allegations Spread Over More Than Four Years
Authorities allege that between April 2007 and October 2011, Stanley Komins allegedly used various methods to embezzle from the little league.
Stanley Komins would write checks payable to himself from the little league account, for which he was not authorized, according to Leone's office, and cash or deposit these checks in his personal bank account, allegedly embezzling $38,000.
Authorities also allege that between May 2009 and September 2011, Stanley Komins purchased items from BJ’s Wholesale Club using checks drawn from the little league account even though some of the items purchased were not related to the operation of the league. Stephen Komins faces the same allegation.
Stephen Komins also allegedly wrote checks to himself from the league account between December 2007 and July 2009, cashing a total of approximately $4,000 according to the press release. Then around March 2011 to May 2011, Stephen Komins would write checks to a friend from the league account, authorities allege, and the friend would cash the checks and give the cash back to Komins.
Leone's office also allege that Stanley and Stephen Komins took cash proceeds from the West Medford Little League refreshment stand, which was operated by one of the Komins during games. The Komins were responsible for depositing the cash from the snack stand into the league’s bank account, according to the press release.
Authorities allege that the deposits made into the account were inconsistent with the expected revenues from the snack stand, that records show that deposits to Stanley Komins personal bank account coincided with the seasonal operation of the refreshment stand and the currency deposited was consistent with snack stand transactions.
League Parent Meeting on Jan. 3
D'Orazio said that the current little league board is comprised of parents of children in the league, and that he did not believe anyone had any suspicions until the new board was formed around Stanley Komins' retirement.
"I know me personally, my son has been in the league for five years, and I never had any kind of insight what was going on from a financial standpoint until last fall, when we were given an account that was almost empty and liabilities in the $2,000 to 3,000 range," he said.
The league will hold a parent meeting on Jan. 3, where D'Orazio said one of the main topics will be the potential merger, "but I'm sure this topic will come up.
"This is unfortunate—obviously a violation of the public trust," he said. "We certainly, all the people involved now, have the right focus in terms of the kids of Medford and running the league appropriately."
These charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by Medford Police. The case was investigated by Assistant District Attorney Doug Nagengast of the PACT unit.
Information from a Middlesex District Attorney's Office press release was used in this report.