Big Island Pop Warner Club Funds Stolen – $150,000 Plus Missing From Travel Account Funds

Well here goes… I’ve kept quiet long enough.  I’ve heard others will be releasing the name of the suspect soon enough and I don’t feel it’s my responsibility to place blame on this person.

At this time I will just give you folks the background on the case as I have heard it so far.  The following is a compilation of a few emails on the subject and I feel comfortable posting this knowing that I’m not posting anyone’s name specifically as all folks are considered innocent until proven guilty.:

Members of the Puna Panthers

Members of the Puna Panthers

Aloha Damon, I met you a few times real briefly a few years ago thru councilman Fred Blas and Aunty Mattie Green… I’m in need of your advice on an issue that came about last July and needs to be dealt with ASAP.

So the Pop Warner league treasurer whom we’ve booted out of her position, stole over $150K of which belonged to the children and was to be used for national travel to Florida to participate in the National Pop Warner Super Bowl should a team from the Big Island ever qualify. This was put in to place in 2006 and was put together with each team depositing $8250 each. At the time there were 12 teams in the league.

Long story short, this treasurer has admitted to stealing all of that money as well as several years worth of ticket monies collected during playoffs and private vendor monies that she collected that were all supposed to be spent on the kids. Anyhow, my issue or desire is to expose this individual as well as the Big Island Pop Warner Football Conference (BIPWFC). See when this was learned a police report was filed, which was fine. In her interview with the police, she has openly admitted to taking the money. My frustration is that BIPWFC is not following up and completing the necessary documentation so that the police can move forward with the case and go for prosecution.

I am seeking your advice / expertise and hoping you can point me in the right direction to put some pressure on the BIPWFC president so that this case can be brought to light and something can be done. Please share any info you can I would greatly appreciate it.

From what I’m told by the police, all they need is for a BIPWFC official comb thru all the checks that were written and confirm which were fraudulent and which were actually approved. Apparently her method of theft was by forging the BIPWFC presidents signature on the checks that were made out to herself.

Moving forward, this year is a travel year for big island pop Warner’s midget division which means a team from the big island has a really good chance at representing the western region in Florida. In fact Panaewa and Kohala are 2 games away from Florida. About $100K that was taken was specifically from the travel fund which was designed to aid a team should they get that far. Needless to say, if Kohala or Panaewa should advance to Florida, they are left with a burden of raising another $100K to take 35 players and 15 chaperones to Florida for 10 days.

Which is the duration of the pop warner Super Bowl. They would have to play 3 games total if they do make it. However, if either of the teams should advance but not show up in Florida for whatever reason, the league (BIPWFC) will be fined $25K.

More:

Hey I was told today that a story is supposed to come out about the theft tomorrow. Not sure by who but apparently someone else has gone to the press. Just in time because Panaewa won the regional championship against Maui today and is headed to Florida. From what I understand they still need about $60K dollars to get there. Just thought I give you this update.

Here’s the police report number and more information. Report number C12014283 Filed as a forgery report. It was originally taken by officer Kuamo’o but is now sitting with detective Jason Berryhill who works out of the Kona station.

From what I’ve been told, the police department needs a representative from BIPWFC to go and verify each check to see which checks were written fraudulently and which checks were legit. Apparently “Pua” had been writing checks to herself and forging Charles Nahale’s signature (president at the time). Nahale has since stepped down back in December citing his want to get this case completed.

Unfortunately it’s been stuck in this stage since last June which is why I’m seeking Damon’s assistance.

UPDATE… MORE HERE: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/24004635/missing-money-jeopardizes-big-island-teams-trip-to-pop-warner-super-bowl

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14 Responses

  1. It is so sad to hear about that

  2. Shame, shame, shame!

  3. this happen to west cost little league baseball now there’s no leauge something has to be done to keep out corruption its all ohana

  4. aloha…I have 5 grandbabies that participate in Pop Warner and 2 hanai grandson’s as well….for future accounting there should be professional accounting… accountants on hand for each team and their accounting each season. Inquiries with local island accountants here in our community, may be willing to donate their time to keep track of each teams accounting. It would be a donation, as well as a tax write off for them wouldn’t it? “Heavenly Father, we ask your guidance in monetary means for the future for the Pop Warner Organization for East Hawaii, and a blessing abundantly for their trip…,and the heart of a Certified Public Accountant to donate their energies to record with accuracy future monies for our children…In Jesus name, amen…

    A concerned grandmother

  5. So easy to point the finger now & bring this incident to light but what is the team doing to get themselves to Florida? Brah they need 60K??? I suggest they start fundraising, seeking sponsors, or taking out a personal loan right now because Florida trip is in a couple of weeks. Not unless this individual is gonna pay back every cent soon. Bahumbug…. Good luck!

  6. I never trust Pop Warner how many Teams gotta go thrugh this. I FEEL THE WHOLE POP WARNER IS A RIP OFF. I HAD MY CHILD PLAY 1year and 1yr only. All this money they ask for just for registration and its almost the same everywhere 300+ and many fundrasing. But can’t explain where the money went. Bunch of BS. So we star ated our own league. $100 less and it comes with jersey pic ,trophey. so please tell me why so much money is being asked from the kids. Pop Warner is not about teaching or having kids come to learn the game of football its about $$$.

  7. How familiar this sounds! BIPW club members do the same to their teams…seems like a rampant source for embezzlement…adults stealing frm or using kids to supplement/create their income…seriously need auditing n not by cops, by licensed auditors.

  8. Oh my, so, sad she did that….somebody BIPWFC better get to stepping, because if their son/daughter was playing I’m pretty sure it would have been settled…contact Action Line they can probably get the ball rolling, and start to get some answers…..

  9. Don’t understand why Nahale stepped down as president. Since his signature was used (forged), as president he would be the go to person to pursue this issue aside from verifying his signature. This smells fishy to me. Does anybody know how long this has been going on. I assume a financial report with bank statements are required at all meetings.

    • Uncle Charles Is old and should have retired awhile ago. His sister took his spot. There are no check and balances. They arent interested in running a legitimate pop warner’s program. They have rules that they dont follow and its a sham Its a non-profit where 2-4 have to endorse the checks but the two could be in it together.The head of the WFC is Mel Rapoza from Kauai. All these crooks in it to steal from the kids.

  10. Why has it taken so long for this to surface?? Well I just hope that the person responsible gets what he/she deserves because our children are the future and this person has stolen from our children and their future!

    • I can’t help but think that the delay in prosecution is Lilly due to the fact that she’s a Correa, same family as many our police force. Might just be an assumption… but ive lived here long enough, and can’t help but wonder.I’m thinking about seeing if we, as the families affected might have a civil case, and sue to get the money’s back in the kids account. She should have to repay.

  11. This is an island. If the “innocent-until-proven-guilty” party is, in fact, charged and found guilty, I hope they live there rest of their miserable life here … on this island …. getting “stink-eye” and “attitude” from everybody else on this island. You know, become an “outcast” and not have any friends … forever.

    Fitting, appropriate … and pono.

    Just saying.

    If guilty.

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