The assistant gambling manager for the Shakopee Youth Hockey Association is accused of looting more than $10,000 from the nonprofit’s charitable gambling arm last year.
Katherine Ann Theis, 23, of Shakopee, was charged via summons in Scott County District Court with theft by swindle, a felony, for allegedly embezzling $10,558 in association funds from pulltab games.
Theis was responsible for recording and depositing earnings from the gambling business — including pulltabs, bingo and meat raffles — at Buffalo Tap in Savage and Louisville Lanes, Turtle’s Bar & Grill and the American Legion in Shakopee.
After discovering that cash from numerous games had not been deposited into the bank from June through August, Scott Reed, the organization’s gambling manager, contacted authorities.
According to the complaint:
Reed met with Shakopee police on Aug. 31 and accused Theis of the theft. Reed explained that he and Theis were the only hockey association employees who went to Turtle’s or the American Legion to put new pulltab games in service and close out games.
Once a game was activated, the sales and winnings were recorded on paper in a pulltab box. When a game was closed, either Reed or Theis would immediately count and collect the money earned. Theis was solely responsible for making the deposits.
Reed would later compare cards from pulltab drawers to the deposits made at Stonebridge Bank in Shakopee, as well as an external audit. The numbers didn’t add up.
In all, $9,805 was missing and never deposited into the hockey account. All the earnings had been taken from Turtle’s and the American Legion.
Backup cash, which was left at the bars in case winners were pulled before the funds had a chance to build, also had been ransacked. The American Legion was missing $310 from its backup cash and Turtle’s was missing $443, for a total of $753.
When Reed confronted Theis on Aug. 28, she admitted stealing the funds for “an addict friend that she was trying to help,” according to court documents.
Theis said she knew she’d have to answer for her crime “sooner or later.”
Theis met with police the following week and claimed that she had already returned the stolen gambling money. The hockey club denied that statement.
A contact number could not be found for Theis, and a defense attorney is not listed on the complaint. She will make her first appearance in court on Feb. 24.