A former Little League president in Garden Grove has been charged with embezzling more than $47,000 from the league, and she’s scheduled for a court hearing June 8.
Brenda Renee Escarpe, 44, of Sahuarita, Arizona, could not be located by authorities for months after she was charged in October with seven felony counts of grand theft, according to court records.
Garden Grove police said they had trouble contacting Escarpe, who had moved from Westminster to Arizona, but they finally tracked her down to her new home in Pima County earlier this year when she was jailed on the arrest warrant, according to Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney.
Escarpe pleaded not guilty April 3 and is out on bail. She was again in court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing.
Escarpe is next due in court June 8 for another pretrial hearing.
The alleged embezzlement from the Central Garden Grove Little League was first reported to police July 31, 2015, Whitney said.
The league “nearly shut down” because of the thefts, Whitney said.
The league managed to soldier on financially thanks to “generous support” from area civic organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, Whitney said.
Enrollment has been “dwindling” from about 300 to about 100 players, Whitney said.
“Parents lost trust in the board members and took their players to other leagues,” said Little League board member Rob Hovis. “The children of the league were hurt the most by this theft.”
Escarpe’s attorney, Michael Guisti, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
–City News Service