Thu07312014

Last updateWed, 19 Nov 2014 8pm

   2014 39.95 HSD w VIDor PH-Banner2-500-x-125

Connells enter pleas on embezzlement from Hopyard sports teams

A King George couple has entered separate pleas on charges of embezzling funds from Hopyard Farms sports teams. April Connell, 39, entered an Alford Plea - or a plea of no-contest - to a charge of felony embezzlement involving the Hopyard Farms swim team.  

Dale Connell, 43, entered a plea of guilty to misdemeanor embezzlement from the Hopyard Farms Little League.  Both Connells were in court Thursday.  Both were banned from participation with any youth sports teams, April for 10 years and Dale for three years.

April Connell was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Circuit Court Judge Joseph Ellis, who suspended all but one year of the prison sentence on the condition that April Connell pay $4,574.18 in restitution, receive a mental health evaluation and remain on good behavior for 10 years.

Dale Connell paid full restitution of the funds he was accused of embezzling prior to sentencing. He received a sentence of 12 months in jail, with all of the sentence suspended based on good behavior for three years.
Prosecutors and the King George Sheriff’s Office clearly regarded the felony charges against April Connell as the more serious. Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Pollard said Connell had deliberately siphoned funds from two Hopyard Farms swim team bank accounts over a period of almost 20 months.

“This was not a one-time, impulsive taking,” Pollard told Judge Ellis, “but a series of acts, a web of lies, manipulations, and deceitful conduct, committed over a period of almost two years, that allowed her to gain access to the Hopyard Farm swim team’s accounts and use their funds as her personal piggy bank.”

“The Commonwealth finds it hard to imagine a more fundamental violation of trust than stealing money, entrusted to you by virtue of your position as president of the board of directors on a children’s sports team,” Pollard declared.

“Because of the impact on the community, including the parents and other people affiliated with the swim team, especially the children, it is appropriate to send April Connell a message, that when that trust is violated, there will be consequences,” Pollard said.

Evidence was presented to Judge Ellis showing April Connell has used swim team funds, raised through registration fees, fundraisers, donations and concessions, to purchase personal items ranging from X-box equipment, to cigarettes and hair color products.

The embezzlement was discovered when swim team officials found that despite raising thousands of dollars, there was no money to pay coaches or to pay for awards for the children. Pollard told the court that Connell “was abrasive when confronted or questioned by parents about the missing funds.”

According to King George Commonwealth’s Attorney Keri Gusmann, Pollard “did a great job” in bringing Connell to justice. “So much so, that a defense attorney, who was in the courtroom on an unrelated matter, sought me out after court to tell me how impressed he was in Jennifer’s handling of the matter.”

201407chamber

 

201407source

201404getaway

 

201401kgpr

Contact Us

The Journal Press, Inc. P. O. Box 409, 10250 Kings Hwy. King George, VA 22485

EditorialAdvertisingOffice
Jessica Herrink, Publisher

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Carla Gutridge
540-709-7061
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Production
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Leonard Banks, Sports editor
540-469-4196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Steve Detwiler
540-709-7288
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Drue Murray
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phyllis Cook
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Linda Farneth,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Elizabeth Foreman,
540-709-7076
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Charlene Franks, Accounts
540-709-7075
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Richard Leggitt
540-993-7460
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bonnie Gouvisis
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lori Deem, Church & Community
540-709-7495
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Advertising Information
540-775-2024
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jessica Herrink
540-469-4031
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal Print Shop

Contact Steve Detwiler

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

540-709-7288 • 540-775-2024

Quikey

Bulletline

link4

Your Invitation Place

Balloon House