A former York Hockey Arena general manager was charged on Wednesday with theft following a three-year investigation.
Detectives say he embezzled almost $23,000 that was meant to be deposited into a rink bank account.
Mike Cleveland, 50, of Fairview Township, is accused of stealing cash between 2014 and 2017. He was arraigned before District Judge Linda Williams, who released him on his own recognizance and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Sept. 29.
Williams barred reporters from the York Daily Record/Sunday News and The York Dispatch from the courtroom. Cleveland declined to comment.Former GM Mike Cleveland
Mike Cleveland, 50, of Fairview Township, the former general manager of the York Ice Arena, is accused of embezzling almost $23,000 between 2014 and 2017. He was arraigned on Wednesday before District Judge Linda Williams and released on his own recognizance.
“Michael stands by his admission that he improperly diverted some funds to himself for personal use," said Doug France, Cleveland's attorney. "How much, I guess, is still the central question."
France said he and his client have not had a chance to review the audit that RKL LLP, an accounting and business consulting firm, conducted in the case.
“There are inconsistencies in the calculation of loss," he said. "We're just going to try to get to the bottom of what is the correct number."
The investigation began in August 2017. That’s when two employees met with Eric Menzer, president of the York Revolution, which used to manage the York Ice Arena, detectives said.
The employees, John Feuerstein and Michael Conte, told him that the rink was holding events for which people paid in cash. But no records existed for certain ones showing that money had been deposited, detectives said.
Feuerstein and Conte reported that they suspected that Cleveland wasn’t depositing the money, detectives said, and that the cellphone bill appeared to be too high.
So Menzer hired RKL LLP to investigate the allegations.
When two certified public accounts interviewed him, Cleveland blamed other employees. He provided a written statement in which he admitted that he allowed his daughter to use a company cellphone for about two years, detectives said, without approval.
The York County District Attorney’s Office later hired RKL LLP to conduct a forensic investigation, which examined records covering from July 2, 2014, through Aug. 2, 2017. Law enforcement conducted numerous interviews.
The investigation determined that about $23,000 in cash was never deposited, and more than $1,300 in unauthorized cellphone fees were incurred.
In an interview on July 23, Cleveland told York County Detective David Jay that he took cash belonging to the rink for his personal use.
“I am proud of the remarkable perseverance of our investigators and attorneys throughout this extensive investigation,” York County District Attorney Dave Sunday said in a statement. “As someone who has prosecuted white collar crimes, I understand both the difficulty in charging and prosecuting, but also the financial harm to an organization and its erosion of trust.”
York City Council recently approved an agreement for Black Bear Sports Group in Bethesda, Maryland, to manage the York City Ice Arena.Origin of storyADMIN Edit: original guest post edited to include story and images