Prosecutor: Woman took $180K from youth baseball group for Disney trip, purchases

UPDATE @ 7:30 p.m.: David Meester, a Springboro Clearcreek Baseball Association board member, wants the community to know the board is committed to “make things right” regarding the criminal case accusing former treasurer Renee Nichols of diverting funds for personal spending.

“We are very upset. It’s bothersome to us. We want to make things right,” Meeker said. 

“We want to continue this relationship with the community. The current board we have now is committed. We’ve been working with the state, working with the police to reconcile this.

“We’re here for the community and the kids. We’re looking to be stronger for the kids,” he said.

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A Springboro woman is accused of embezzling at least $180,000 from the Springboro Clearcreek Baseball Association, according to prosecutors.

Renee K. Nichols, 46, is charged with aggravated theft and tampering with records, the prosecutor’s office said.

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Investigators said Nichols used the money for personal spending, including a Disney vacation, personal credit card bill and other expenses.

"The idea that funds that should have been used for things like replacing aging helmets to prevent concussions, instead were used as someone's own personal slush fund, it's infuriating," said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

Nichols served as treasurer for the youth league from 2011 until 2017, prosecutors said.  

The youth league said they cannot comment on the specifics of the case, but added they are working closely with law enforcement.

“While the actions of the past board member have shaken the league, we are encouraged by the community support and are excited to build on the great 2018 season and bring a stronger SCBA to the community next season,” the league said in a prepared statement.

The league also said they have put an entire new executive board in place since the incident took place.  They’ve also established a finance and audit committee that is focused on financial oversight and accountability, the board said.

“The scheme was discovered in 2017 when a new board member, who was a CPA and had experience in fraud investigations, began looking into the organization's finances and discovered that Nichols had failed to file SCBA's Form 990 with the IRS thereby threatening its tax-exempt status,” the prosecutor’s office said in a prepared statement.

Investigators said Nichols doctored bank records to hide the expenditures and possibly destroyed and got rid of a laptop containing historical financial information for the youth league.

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