FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A parent volunteer who stole almost $300,000 from the Mansfield Youth Baseball Association (MYBA) was sentenced to 8 years in prison, and restitution payments.
Jennifer Sue Witteveen, 52, of Arlington first began volunteering for the nonprofit association when her child was playing baseball with MYBA. As the association’s treasurer, between January 2012 and July 2018 she illegally used her access to make unauthorized cash withdrawals and write fraudulent checks, which eventually added up to more than $295,000.
“This defendant took advantage of her leadership position in a non-profit organization that was supposed to be all about helping kids and making the city of Mansfield a great place for children to grow up,” said White Collar unit prosecutor Johnny Newbern. “Instead, she lined her own pockets.”
When Witteveen’s theft was discovered, she claimed she stole the money to pay for family medical bills, but a forensic accounting analysis showed that she spent only 2% of the funds on medical costs, while spending much higher amounts on non-essentials such as $22,000 on Amazon purchases and almost $50,000 on fast food and restaurants.
Witteveen pled guilty to the charge of Theft of Property, $150,000 – $300,000. Normally a 2nd degree felony, the charge was enhanced to a 1st degree because the victim organization was a non-profit. Following a hearing, Witteveen was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Judge Elizabeth Beach also accepted the prosecution’s recommendation that Witteveen’s parole be conditional on her making restitution payments to the association.
“Every dollar she took could have had a real impact on children in our community. That’s something that cannot be repaid,” said Newbern. “I am proud of our system for ensuring that justice was served.”