Missouri sports league 'continuing to recover' from theft

6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago June 30, 2016 Jun 30, 2016 Thursday, June 30 2016 Thursday, June 30, 2016 7:27:25 AM CDT in News
By: The Associated Press

JOPLIN (AP) — A southwest Missouri youth sports league is working to rebuild after a former leader embezzled tens of thousands of dollars.

The Joplin Globe reports that 41-year-old Diane Heikkila, of Joplin, pleaded guilty earlier this week in federal court to stealing about $50,000. She admitted to stealing from the Joplin South Little League from September 2010 through January 2014.

A new board of directors was organized after Heikkila was removed from her position as the group's president in 2014. Joplin South and Joplin North eventually merged into one organization: the Joplin Little League.

The current president, Jason Smith, said the organization is "continuing to recover." In the years immediately after the embezzlement, Smith said, the organization was unable to buy equipment and tools to maintain its fields and buildings.

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