Trial for baseball treasurer accused of stealing $180K to begin

The former treasurer of the Springboro Clearcreek Baseball Association is scheduled for trial Monday on charges filed last year accusing her of embezzling more than $180,000 from the youth-sports organization.

Renee Nichols, now 47, of Springboro, was indicted on Oct. 15 on charges of aggravated theft and tampering with records.

She has been free on electronic monitoring since April 17, after serving almost six months in jail after not being able to post a $750,000 bond set by Judge Donald Oda II.

The one-day trial would be decided by Oda, rather than a jury.

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On Friday, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell indicated Nichols could enter a plea or the case could be continued again.

Nichols’ lawyers declined comment.

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Since being charged, Nichols’ husband filed for divorce. This case is also pending.

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The missing money first came to light in 2017 when a new board member, a Certified Public Accountant, began looking into the organization’s finances and discovered no Form 990 had been filed with the IRS, outlining the group’s financial status, Fornshell said at the time of the indictment.

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According to an online IRS database, the association’s nonprofit tax exemption, revoked on May 15, 2017, was reinstated on Jan. 15.

This designation is important for those donating to the organization to be able to take advantage of the tax break.

Since the incident, a new SCBA board was formed and audit and finance committees set up.

SCBA Commissioner Dave Meester declined to comment on “the specifics of the case.”

“We are relieved that justice is being served, and that this matter is coming to an end,” Meester added in a statement. “We are eager to move forward with plans for a revitalized SCBA. It will take time to completely recover from the damage that was done and the losses we incurred. But the league is now thriving and continuing to grow.”

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