Soccer mom accused of stealing thousands
POSTED: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 2:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, August 19, 2012 - 2:04pm
Parma Heights, OH (WJW) — A soccer mom is facing serious charges that she stole thousands of dollars from her children's suburban league soccer club.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors have charged Julie Lauter, 42, with grand theft and money laundering, after they say she stole $10,000 dollars from the Parma Heights Travel Soccer Club.
Lauter's husband, Captain Gary Lauter with the Parma Heights Police Department, was the soccer club's treasurer in 2011.
"(Julie) did everything. She had the debit card, she had access to the account, she paid the bills, she did the actual treasurer's work. It was that she went beyond that, that was the problem," said Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Soucie.
Soucie told Fox 8 that board members for the soccer club noticed a problem when a check bounced.
He said Julie Lauter made as many as 31 cash withdrawals and 40 debit transactions between January and June of 2001, all from unsuspecting victims.
"She acted in a way that broke that trust and disappointed everybody that would look to her to do the right thing," Soucie said.
Soucie also said some of the most compelling evidence came from surveillance video at ATM machines where Lauter was allegedly using the club's debit card to withdraw cash for everyday use.
"Groceries, gasoline. There are two that we know of that were a little out of the ordinary — was a trip to Disney World. There was a charge for some souvenirs," he said.
"It's sad really, that's what I feel," said Lauter's neighbor Marie Florcosky. "And then you feel bad for the kids."
She, along with other neighbors in Lauter's Fernhurst Avenue neighborhood, were completely stunned Friday.
"I find that so hard to believe," said longtime neighbor and family friend, Barb Weidokal.
Weidokal has lived next door to the family for almost 50 years, and has known Julie Lauter since she was a child.
She said not only is she a good mom, but a good person.
"They need to investigate this thoroughly to make sure they have positive proof because I still don't believe it," Weidokal told Fox 8.
Soucie said Julie Lauter has cooperated fully with the investigation, and that all of the stolen money has been paid back to the soccer club.
She is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 30.
Soucie also said that they have no evidence linking Capt. Gary Lauter with the case and he has not been charged.
Capt. Lauter had been on paid administrative leave while the investigation was ongoing, but returned to his job at the Parma Heights Police Department on Tuesday.