Medina Bees youth football program founder charged with grand theft

MEDINA, Ohio - The former president of the Medina Bees Youth Football Association has been charged with three counts of grand theft, engaging in corrupt activity and forgery.

The charges come after an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation into a championship youth football program that uncovered tens of thousands of dollars of debt and questions over where the money was going.

Michael Butts is suspected of stealing up to $150,000. The former long time coach and commissioner of the youth football organization ran the program from 2002 until May 2011.

Our investigation uncovered a series of lawsuits alleging Butts failed to pay vendors thousands of dollars they claimed they were owed. Parents have been left wondering where their $60,000 in registration fees brought in each year were going.

NewsChannel5 found at least $27,000 in unpaid bills, including an $11,000 bounced check for everything from uniforms to concession vendors.

"Betrayal of a public trust deserves to be dealt with in a public manner. We are not going to tolerate this kind of crime in Medina," said Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci. "This has been a long and difficult investigation, but we made a commitment to it because we felt it was important for the victims of these alleged crimes to have answers."

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