Kelly Beth Alonso-Heath, 42, Little Falls, was sentenced in Morrison County District Court to 150 days of local confinement, restitution of $30,195 and 20 years of probation after a felony conviction for theft - diverting corporate property.
She was found to have stolen more than $90,000 from the Little Falls Youth Hockey Association (LFYHA).
Alonso-Heath must serve the first 90 days of her confinement, beginning June 18. She will then serve 30 days in 2022 and 2023, with both being eligible to be vacated if she is current on restitution payments.
In June 2020, an officer from the Little Falls Police Department received a report of a theft from the LFYHA, a nonprofit organization. A board member and the president of the association contacted the police to inform them that it appeared the former treasurer — Alonso-Heath — had been stealing large sums of money over the last few years. Alonso-Heath served as treasurer of the LFYHA from 2016 - 2020.
An LFYHA board member told law enforcement that Alonso-Heath was replaced with a new treasurer in April 2020, and at that time the association wanted to change the names of the people who had access to its account. The board member discovered that she, herself, was not on the account, and that it took her a week or so to have her name added so that she could access the organization’s bank records.
The president of the LFYHA told the officer that while Alonso-Heath was treasurer, she would ask her for user names and passwords to the account. Alonso-Heath provided her with user names and passwords that never worked, and that she never followed through on providing the bank records.
When the president was finally able to access the account, she “discovered a large discrepancy.” She believed the most recent balance at the time should have been about $130,000, but was alarmed to learn it was actually about $13,000. That is when she began digging into accounts and discovered what she believed to be fraudulent activity.
Over the previous four years, there were numerous checks that Alonso-Heath wrote out to “cash” or directly to herself. Other checks were written out to Quik Trip. These checks totaled in excess of $85,000.
The president pointed out that “the vast majority” of the checks were most likely illegitimate because there would be no known business reason to pay out this kind of money in cash or to Alonso-Heath herself. She also noted many electronic withdrawals from the association account, some of which went to utility companies with which the association did not have any business.
The president believed there were approximately $5,800 worth of funds taken for these fraudulent electronic withdrawals.
During the final year of Alonso-Heath’s time as treasurer, the president told law enforcement it became increasingly difficult to get information from her. Other members of LFYHA noted times in which they had “great difficulty” getting in touch with her to get bills paid.
The president informed the officer that, when she went back and looked at the bank balance sheets and compared them to the meeting minutes from the same month, she discovered increasing discrepancies as time went on. For example, she said in January 2020, Alonso-Heath reported an account balance in excess of $131,000. The actual bank statement from that same period of time showed an ending balance of just over $27,000.
On July 30, 2020, an officer located Alonso-Heath and asked if she would accompany him for an interview at the Little Falls Police Department. During that interview, he asked her to explain the discrepancy between the amounts she reported and what was actually in the account. According to the criminal complaint, she initially became upset about the officer’s questions.
After being reassured by the officer that “he was not going to bring her to jail,” she became more forthcoming.
The officer asked her if any of the missing money was still around, and she replied that it was not. She admitted to the officer that she had spent money on household expenses because she was in “dire financial need over the last few years.”
In total, between April 2016 - April 2020, it appeared Alonso-Heath wrote out fraudulent checks, either to herself or cash, in the amount of $86,951.69. The fraudulent electronic withdrawals from the account totaled $5,814.34.