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Former youth football president arrested for stealing thousands of dollars

Former youth football president stole thousands
Posted at 5:22 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 18:59:09-05

The former president of the Suncoast Youth Football Conference is accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the organization, which heads up several football and cheerleading teams in Pinellas County. 

Detectives say 61-year-old Leonard "Lenny" Anderson took the money meant for kids and spent it in part on a new mobile home in Palm Harbor.

Pinellas County Detectives began their investigation in May 2017, after the Suncoast Youth Football Conference reported they found multiple discrepancies during a financial audit.

According to detectives, the thefts occurred between Dec. 2016 and May 2017.

Anderson was arrested Thursday on Grand Theft charges. He later bonded out of jail. 

ABC Action News found Anderson at home in his Palm Harbor trailer, which he bought with allegedly stolen funds. He told reporter Sarah Hollenbeck that he was sick and could not talk but "I'm sorry to parents. It will be taken care of. I will repay the money as quickly as possible."

The Suncoast Youth Football Board tells ABC Action News they gave Anderson ample time to pay back the money. When he did not, they reported it to authorities. 

The stolen money was supposed to be used for the 12 teams in the league to host their championship games. It was needed to pay for referees, trophies and other end of the year celebrations. 

Parents tell ABC Action News they are furious.