South Lake Tahoe Pop Warner embezzler sentenced to jail, probation
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A South Lake Tahoe man who pleaded guilty to embezzling money from the South Tahoe Pop Warner Football and Cheer Association was sentenced earlier this month in El Dorado County Superior Court.
Christopher Steven Klug, the former president of the nonprofit association, was sentenced on Oct. 22 to 120 days in the El Dorado County Jail, to be served incrementally, and three years of probation. He also must pay back in full the amount of money that was taken.
Before sentencing, Frankie Coquillette, the former president and treasurer while Klug was president, read a statement to the court that detailed the discovery of stolen funds, the loss of community trust in the organization, the decrease in participation and the struggle to get the association back on its feet.
“On April 25, 2017, I was alerted by an email that the association’s bank account was overdrawn,” Coquillette read to the court. “I contacted the president of the association at the time to ask him about what was going on. He confirmed with me that he had withdrawn the money with the intentions of paying it back. However this didn’t happen. The impact this had on the organization was significant.”
Coquillette said she was satisfied with Judge Suzanne Kingsbury’s sentence.
“I’m happy,” Coquillette said outside the courtroom. “Honestly, I’m satisfied with it.”
Klug, dressed in a black jacket and black pants, listened quietly next to his attorney during Kingsbury’s sentencing where she discussed how three embezzlement cases involving nonprofits recently have been brought before her (Humane Society and Tahoe Educational Foundation), and that those guilty individuals have “brought to their knees” those victimized organizations.
“To me, this is the ultimate betrayal on many levels,” Kingsbury said of Klug’s crime.
She also discussed seeing Klug’s father in court for theft and pondered how, if at all, that trait is handed down from father to son.
Kingsbury took into account that Klug has a job and was able to pay $4,000 on Monday as part of paying back the money. Klug must spend three consecutive days in jail and work the other four until the sentence is completed. If that schedule can’t be met, Kingsbury said he would have to serve the time all in one chunk.
The amount of money Klug needs to return is still being determined. The association is supposed to submit the final number by Nov. 5 when Klug must provide a work and jail schedule.
As part of his sentence, Klug must submit to drug tests at any time, not leave the state without permission, be employed, have no firearms or munitions, disclose conviction to current and future employers, submit to DNA test and he can’t be in a position to handle cash.
Klug originally turned himself in to the South Lake Tahoe Police Department on Friday, May 4, 2017 after an arrest warrant had been issued and he was booked into the El Dorado County Jail.
Asked if he would like to give his thoughts on the verdict, Klug, looking resigned to his fate as he was leaving the courthouse, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I’m doing my time.”