John Dahlia was arrested Wednesday by West Virginia State Police on a charge of felony embezzlement of more than $10,100 from a local youth sports organization.
According to the criminal complaint filed at Marion County Magistrate Court, Dahlia, 46, of 1116 Morgantown Ave., Fairmont, is charged with one count of embezzlement after using his position as treasurer for the East Fairmont Rockets football and cheerleading organization to make numerous purchases totalling almost $6,500.
Purchases were made for fuel, food, pool care items, car washes, DVDs, on-line purchases from Amazon.com, and items for his own consulting business from “IStock International.”
According to the complaint, he used the organization’s credit/debit card to make these unauthorized purchases.
The complaint further charges that Dahlia also charged the organization $1,600 for black-and-white copies of a flyer made from his home/work computer.
The complaint also charges that deposits Dahlia made into the Rockets’ checking account shows cash missing from those deposits of more than $2,000.
Dahlia, a former Fairmont deputy mayor, turned himself in to police Wednesday afternoon and was arraigned at Marion County Magistrate Court on a warrantless arrest. He is free after posting $10,000 bond.
He has been treasurer of the East Fairmont Rockets since January of this year.
Dahlia was interviewed by Cpl. Edward Boyle, investinging officer, with his attorney present at the Fairmont Detachment.
“He was cooperative,” Boyle said of Dahlia. Dahlia is being charged with one count of embezzlement, “at this time,” he added.
“The grand jury could indict him on other charges,” Boyle said.
He said that police were told of the incident from board members of the youth organization.
Embezzlement violates 61-3-20 of the West Virginia Code.
Conviction brings a sentence of one to 10 years in the penitentiary, or at the court’s discretion, up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,400.
The complaint states that Dahlia admitted to “mishandling” the funds and “fraudulently converting the money to his own use.”
Information obtained for the complaint was gained from bank records for the East Fairmont Rockets, Walmart security videos and receipts, and statements from board members and Dahlia.
Mark White, president of East Fairmont Rockets, had no comment other than to say he and another individual uncovered and reported the incident.
“There were some accounting irregularities,” said Dahlia’s attorney, Sean Logue of Morgantown.
“Whatever differences there are, he will attempt to repay any amounts that are missing.
“He loves his community and feels terrible about the situation. He will do what it takes to make things right.
“All parties will be made whole at the conclusion of the case.”