Man Accused Of Stealing From Youth Football League - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Man Accused Of Stealing From Youth Football League

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by Nick Beres

GORDONSVILLE, Tenn. - A youth football team found itself flat broke after they said a middleman made off with thousands of dollars they earned in a fundraiser selling cookie dough.

"I don't feel good. I feel mad," said one of the players in the league that serves five to 12 year olds.

Parents with the Gordonsville Youth Football League said the kids sold $11,000 worth of cookie dough and then turned the money over to Jeff Burke to send to the cookie dough company.

"We kept getting a delay and the cookie company said they didn't have the money.  Burke didn't send the money," said Mike Dunn, a parent. "It's pretty sad Mr. Burke basically stole from about 120 children."

The parents went to the Smith County District Attorney and a grand jury indicted Burke on a theft charge. 

NewsChannel 5 was there to confront Burke moments after the arrest:

"Did you take the money?" asked NewsChannel 5's Nick Beres.

"No," said Burke.

"What did you do with all the money?" asked Beres.

"It's all in cash flow, Nick," said Burke.

"How come you were never able to get this money back to them?" Beres continued.

"I have no idea. I'll have to speak to my attorney," said Burke.

Parents said the kids worked long and hard to earn the money for a game they love.

"They put their heart and soul into this and for someone to come along and take their heart out really hurts," said Rachel Dunn, a parent.

Dunn said no money from the annual fundraiser means little new equipment and no trophies or end-of-year banquets.

The football league drew on reserve monies to buy the cookie dough themselves to make good for their customers. Now, they are selling coupon pages provided by local merchants to help raise some money before the end of the season.

Investigators are looking into the possibilities of other problems involving Burke and cookie dough sales in other county football leagues. 

A parent with the Warrior League in Sparta reported they are still waiting for $11,000-worth of cookie dough from Burke. No charges have been filed yet, but the district attorney said they are looking into it.

Email: nberes@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5NickBeres
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_NickBeres

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