Finance manager charged with stealing $113,000 from RAAA
The longtime finance director for the Rosemount Area Athletic Association has been charged with five counts of felony theft for allegedly stealing $113,532 from the organization between 2011 and 2013.
Robert Reischauer, 62, of Apple Valley, handled finances for the organization for 27 years.
The RAAA notified Rosemount police last September after noticing that $75,000 was missing. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney’s office, the group was in the process of changing finance managers after noticing several small accounting errors. It had asked Reischauer for the books as part of that transition.
Reichauer was reluctant to turn over the books, the report states, but eventually provided them.
An initial review of those books showed that Reischauer had written several checks to himself and had created PayPal accounts in his name. When RAAA approached police they believed Reischauer had taken at least $75,000.
“RAA was extremely saddened and disappointed to discover the alleged theft,” RAAA president Heidi Kraemer wrote in an emailed statement. “We have worked closely with the Rosemount authorities and others to ensure we provided them what they needed for the investigation.”
Kraemer declined further comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
After police recovered additional records in a search of Reischauer’s home they found more evidence transactions that had been removed from the books.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau helped with the investigation and found that between March and August of 2011, Reichauer took approximately $12,856; between September of 2011 and February of 2012, $26,903 was taken; between March and August of 2012, $22,464 was taken; between September of 2012 and February of 2013 $48,524 was taken; and from March through August 2013 $2,784.38.
The Dakota County Attorney’s office has filed five separate theft charges against Reischauer. One has a maximum sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $100,000. Three others each have a maximum sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $20,000. The fifth has a maximum sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
While dealing with the theft has been difficult, Kraemer said this week the RAAA board has worked to ensure the damage won’t affect the program’s athletes. RAAA offers 19 athletic programs and serves more than 4,000 area youth.
“I am so proud of the board. They really rallied to make this a better organization and to make sure we do the right thing for everyone,” said Kraemer.
The theft left a $60,000 hole in RAAA’s general fund. The challenge for the board was to address that hole without it affecting any of the sports programs. Kraemer said the board put together a five-year plan to make up for the lost money.
“It affects us for sure, but gratefully it does not stop the work and mission of RAAA,” Kraemer wrote in a letter to RAAA families.
Kraemer said RAAA runs a “lean and mean” operation. The group has been able to reduce administrative fees from $25 to $18 over the last several years.
Going forward, Kraemer said RAAA will hold the $18 administrative fee instead of further reducing it.
Kraemer said participation is up 14 percent and those extra fees will go towards making up the difference. Lastly, RAAA will put its gambling funds towards the deficit.
To prevent theft in the future, Kraemer said RAAA had an audit done to see if the organization is still exposed. Kraemer said RAAA received a clean opinion from Lewis Kisch Associates.
Additionally, she said the organization will continue to review financial policies and procedures to ensure theft does not happen again.
With a plan in place and a positive audit report, Kraemer feels good about where the organization is going despite the circumstances.
“We as a board have appreciated the community support and the way the community has rallied around us. I think it’s a testament to the kind of community Rosemount is,” said Kraemer.
Staff writer Emily Zimmer contributed to this story.