Crime

A gambling addiction allegedly led to empty accounts for this Whatcom youth sports club

McClatchy

The former treasurer of a Whatcom County youth sports organization was arrested Friday, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office, for allegedly stealing more $23,000 to pay for her gambling addition.

The arrest stemmed from an investigation that began in May, Whatcom Sheriff's deputy chief Kevin Hester said, after the 35-year-old woman, who served as treasurer for the Meridian Youth Athletic Association, came forward to tell the association's board that they had no more money.

"She was very apologetic and cooperative with our investigators," Hester said. "We needed to follow up and get back records, and it showed a number of cash withdraws of between $200 and $500 at ATMs for casinos."

Allison Jean Miller, who was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft, was released from the Whatcom County Jail on personal recognizance Friday.

"The board member has been replaced and there are checks in place to help prevent this from happening in the future," Meridian Youth Athletic Association president Steve Haugen said in a June 7 post on the Meridian MYAA Facebook page. "Our commitment to the kids of the Meridian Youth Sports will continue to be our focus as we move forward."

Haugen also wrote that a number of current board members "have contributed personal funds to keep our mission of serving our community youth."

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