The president of the Stamford Chapter of the Babe Ruth Girls Softball league has been arrested for allegedly ripping off funds from the organization for his private use.
Charles R. Pia, 62, of Stamford, was arrested on Friday, March 29, and charged with larceny, failure to register as a charitable organization and misallocation of the property of a charitable organization for private use, said Stamford Police Lt. Thomas Scanlon
Pia's arrest came after the police department received complaints about his suspected impropriety for many years, Scanlon said.
Over the course of a year and a half long investigation, Investigator Heather Bozentko determined that Pia improperly utilized the girls softball funds to pay for services to his personal vehicle and to pay utility bills at his home, he added.
The total amount stolen from the organization was just over $1,500, Scanlon said.
It was also found that Stamford Girls Softball did not file the proper documentation with the state to qualify as a charitable organization, yet Pia continued to purport on the website and conducted business as a charitable organization.
The organization’s federal 501(c)3 non-profit status was revoked in 2014 by the IRS, he said.
This is an ongoing investigation and the Stamford Police are looking into other suspicious charges on the girls softball account, as well as attempting to identify where cash from raffles, concession stand sales, and other sources were deposited.
During the course of the investigation, Pia was unwilling to provide an explanation of the charges or show the accounting and other business records for the organization, Scanlon said.
The department is asking anyone with information on the financial workings of the Stamford Babe Ruth Girls Softball organization to contact Investigator Heather Bozentko at 203-977-4407.
"The Stamford Police would like to recognize the hard work and extensive hours that Investigator Bozentko put into the case," Scanlon added.
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