A man accused of stealing more than $8,000 from a midget and Pee Wee football league fund allegedly used some of the money to take his family on a cruise, go out to eat and cover a host of day-to-day expenses.
Robert L. Vidal, 44, of Chico, is accused of taking approximately $8,500 from the organization’s account during his time as the director of the Wise County Pee Wee Football Association, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Vidal was arrested Monday and charged with theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000, a state jail felony.
The Wise County Pee Wee Football Association was created in 2011 and included teams from Bridgeport, Paradise, Chico, Alvord and Jacksboro. Vidal was named director of the organization and put in charge of scheduling and finances for the league.
Each city’s youth football league initially contributed $600 to the account. Participants continued to add to the ac count from money raised through fees and fundraisers until the balance grew to between $8,000 and $10,000.
“The money is typically used for referees, uniforms and insurance,” said District Attorney Greg Lowery.
However, over the summer, the association decided it wanted to split back into city youth football leagues. But when the commissioners went to divide the fund, they discovered nothing was left in the account.
An investigator with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office “inspected the bank records and observed money spent on a debit card (Vidal) had acquired for the account. Items bought were dinners at restaurants, a vacation cruise, fuel and several other daily necessities. All (the) money was spent by Vidal for him and his family,” read the affidavit.
Vidal allegedly told his wife the extra spendable income was coming from “bonus checks” he got at work.
When confronted by investigators, Vidal admitted to the theft and said it was a “mistake.” He said he’d already paid back about $3,500 of it.
Vidal was released from Wise County Jail Monday on personal recognizance.