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County police have charged the president of the Anne Arundel County Youth Soccer League with felony theft of more than $12,000 in registration fees owed the Department of Recreation and Parks.

Dale C. Adams Sr., 42, of the 1100 block Neptune Place in Annapolis, was charged Dec. 10 with cashing an unauthorized check for $12,434.50 on the league's account at a branch of Citizens Bank of Maryland in Linthicum.

The league check was cashed Sept. 7, and Adams used the money to pay off a foreclosure on his Annapolis home, according to the police statement of charges.

"Adams reported the checks stolen (to police) and then they turned up a couple of weeks later," Recreation and Parks Director Joseph McCann said yesterday. "The next thing you know, this check turned up."

Adams could not be reached for comment.

The county will seek to collect the money from Citizens Bank, McCann said, because it cashed the check on Adams' authority alone in violation of the league's requirement for a second official's signature.

If convicted of the felony theft charge, Adams could face 15 years in prison and a fine up to $1,000.

McCann said he ordered an audit of the league's finances but found no other problems.

"Apparently, Adams was well thought of," he said. "They've been a good organization. They've been a big help to the Recreation and Parks Department."

The department routinely entrusts volunteer organizations with collecting about $2.5 million each year owed the county for use of fields and other sports facilities.

"The arrangement we have with the volunteer organizations is that they collect the money for the soccer teams and then they pass along fees to us," McCann said. "They cut us one check to cover the number of teams registered for the season."

The missing money was the bulk of the fees the league had collected for this season, he said.

Although the citizens groups follow cash control guidelines recommended by the county, they are managed independently, McCann said.

"In these volunteer organizations, there are isolated reports of theft but they go to the police and don't involve us," he said. "The people at fault here -- beside the person who allegedly committed the theft -- is the bank."

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