Longtime volunteer charged with stealing $15,000 from Oakdale Athletic Association

The man in charge of charity gambling for the Oakdale Athletic Association allegedly admitted to giving himself an unauthorized raise, putting his wife on the payroll and other schemes, stealing $15,000 from the youth-oriented nonprofit.

The organization formed to support and manage youth athletics in the Oakdale area, and the funds generated by charitable gambling help the organization fund scholarships for children from low income families, in addition to updating sports equipment and providing field maintenance.

Gary Masterman, 64, of St. Paul, was charged July 19 with three counts of felony theft by swindle and two counts of gross misdemeanor theft by swindle. Court documents allege he stole about $15,000 from the organization between December 2014 and December 2016. His first appearance in Washington County Court will be Nov. 8.

On Feb. 17, Eric Delacy, president of the OAA, reportedly informed the Oakdale Police Department that Masterman, who handled the payroll for the OAA charitable gambling employees, had at some point increased his $2,100 monthly salary without board approval and was also paying himself for hourly work that he did not do, such as calling bingo and selling pull tabs.

A statement from the OAA board said, “Gary Masterman was a long time trusted board member, and at the time of the incident, the only gambling manager our organization had ever had. When account discrepancies were discovered, [the board of directors was] shocked and disappointed.”

The statement also explained, “Other than our gambling manager, our board is all volunteer, and we have many board members as well as volunteer coaches that go out of their way to support youth athletics in the Oakdale area.”

According to court documents, Delacy received an apology letter from Masterman on Feb. 23. The letter reportedly indicated Masterman would pay back “$12K” to the organization, but when Masterman allegedly confessed to Oakdale police officers, he clarified the $12,000 he offered to pay back was not the exact amount he took, adding he would pay more if he owed more.

“At this time, we have full confidence in the justice system, and hope this is resolved in a timely manner,” the OAA board statement said.

In addition to his long-term involvement with the OAA, Masterman was the volunteer chief of the Oakdale Fire Department in the late 1980s and early 1990s and is still the chairperson for the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission, though city administrator Bart Fischer said Masterman is currently on a leave of absence from the commission.

“He is not taking part in commission activities, and the council will decide on a final course of action once more information is made available,” Fischer said, clarifying that Masterman was never employed by the City of Oakdale.

Masterman has been notified he is to appear in court this November, but is not in custody at this time. He faces a maximum sentence of 22 years, a $46,000 fine, or both.

 

Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com


 

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