ICA is target of crime!
This past year has attracted trolls of our chess organization. We earned a matching
grant this summer from a fundraiser. In September the donor was contacted and sent a check for $2500. This was intercepted in the mail by a gentleman recently discharged from the armed services whom forged the signature and deposited the check in his personal account with USAA Bank - an armed services bank. I waited for the donor and the bank to make a case, however I was told by my contact that if I wanted the money for the ICA, the ICA had to sue the perpetrator or the bank.
As that did not seem right, I investigated where the mail was delivered and discovered that the perpetrator was renting a home at that address with his family. With the cancelled check and the name of the thief, I began correspondence to recoup the money. On retrospect, I should have let the police investigate from the beginning. After 5 days with nothing returned, and aggravation and stress - the money was spent - I filed a report with the police and they arrested the individual later that day for Grand Theft, fraud and forgery - a mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail and maximum fine of $10,000.
The court case manifested on December 23 and I had to sit in Kootenai County Courthouse to try and recover our funds while thinking about whether this second job is really worth it. The thief had many words of apology and his lawyer indicated she had a cashier's check for the Idaho Chess Association and so we agreed on a plea deal to reduce the crime to a misdemeanor, 160 days suspended with 2 days served, community service and probation.
The ICA received the matching grant but lost any future chance of the donor returning with a matching grant gift. He told me so after informing him that I recovered his donation. This was an experience that a volunteer such as myself never expected and hope to never experience again.