A little league president has been arrested and charged with fraud after he reportedly used the organization's funds for his own personal use.
John Farrar, now former, Tarpon Springs Little League President, is accused of using league funds for personal use without the consent, approval or knowledge of any current TSLL Board Member.
Tarpon Springs Police say Farrar turned himself in after the League's treasurer asked him for access into their financial accounts.
They say he kept making excuses so she told him she planned to go to the bank in person for access.
He confessed to police before any official complaint was made.
He admitted to stealing more than $12,900 during the past six months.
Investigators say Farrar took proceeds from concession stands and transferred money from the league into his business account.
They say he and his family had recently been evicted from their home and were living in a motel.
Records show he's filed for Ch.13 bankruptcy three times.
"If you needed it I'm sure the team would have been there to help you, say you need it," said Kim Meade, owner of Little Slice of Heaven Pizza and a team sponsor, "but in order to put a front on, you're stealing from a team, from a child, from families."
Meade is optimistic the news won't stop her team and others from continuing to play.
"They're just going to overcome this," she said, "and make it that much better for the league itself."
Farrar was removed from his position during an emergency board meeting. Wendy Farrar was also removed from the board.
He was released from jail Wednesday afternoon as he awaits his next court appearance.
A letter was sent out to parents, coaches, and players to inform them of the discovery.
The letter from the Little League Board read:
"Dear parents, coaches, and players,
While we all have a great love for the wonderful game of baseball, little league and youth sports, in general, have a much greater purpose than merely the game itself. They teach teamwork, sportsmanship, self-worth, dedication, and most importantly citizenship. Through youth sports, we allow and encourage our next generation to build their future, foster relationships and evolve our community. It is because of this that we are writing to you this evening.
Earlier today, it was discovered that our, now former, Tarpon Springs Little League President, John Farrar, inappropriately and wrongfully used league funds for personal use without the consent, approval or knowledge of any current TSLL Board Member.
We say former because once this became known, your Tarpon Springs Little League Board Members solidified an emergency board meeting and put forward a motion to remove both John Farrar and Wendy Farrar from the TSLL Board, effective immediately. This motion was voted upon and our unanimous decision supported their removal. Neither were offered an opportunity to resign. John has since been criminally arrested with the understanding that he will be charged with a felony count of fraud (Grand Theft).
It is important to understand that while we, as an organization, are still reeling from this situation, there is an active criminal investigation being conducted by the Tarpon Springs Police Department. This has been a very difficult day but we appreciate the members of TSPD taking swift and certain action to hold those accountable for their behaviors. They are the epitome of professionalism and we will continue to be proud of them as they move forward in this investigation.
It is also important for the parents, players, community members and general public to recognize that transparency of both the finances and the organization itself continues to be our top priority for the TSLL Board Members. Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, we are limited in our ability to share some details. We can say with great certainty that our by-laws have very effective and impactful "checks and balances." While we all know that those who wish to do wrong will seek ways to work around those checks and balances, please understand that they will not win. In fact, those checks and balances are exactly what lead to this discovery.
This situation has certainly impacted each one of us. Each and every current board member in this organization is dedicated to it's success. In true TSLL fashion, we will overcome this, as an origination, through teamwork and dedication.
While there will be many questions still to be answered, we ask you to allow us, as your TSLL Board Members, to answer them in the next several days and weeks, as the situation and investigation permits. As far as our immediate future, we would like you to know that our new President, Joe Abrantes, and Vice-President, John Shields, will be meeting with our Board members to make this transition seamless. Please continue to support your player and their love of this amazing game.
The Tarpon Springs Little League Board"