A Newcastle woman accused of embezzling funds from youth sports and school organizations has been sentenced to five years of probation and 364 days in Placer County Jail.
Kerri Avery, 41, was arrested in July by Placer County sheriff’s detectives following an investigation that found funds missing from the Newcastle-Ophir Soccer Club, Mid Placer Little League and the Newcastle Parent-Teacher Club. Avery was a volunteer treasurer for the groups and also worked as a self-employed bookkeeper, according to Sheriff’s Department Facebook posts at the time of her arrest. Detectives also heard from an employer that she had allegedly embezzled $18,000 from his business.
Avery pleaded no contest in October to four counts of felony grand theft by embezzlement and admitted to special allegations related to the amount of the theft, according to a Placer County District Attorney’s Office news release. She was sentenced Thursday.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Doug Van Breemen argued that Avery should be sentenced to state prison for the maximum term of six years. He characterized her as a “predatory embezzler,” and argued that the maximum sentence was appropriate because Avery targeted multiple organizations that were run by parent volunteers, gained their trust, then schemed to steal large sums of money from them to finance her own lifestyle, according to the news release.
Placer County Superior Court Judge Garen Horst suspended a six-year state prison sentence. Under the sentencing, Avery could be sentenced to state prison for the six-year term only if she violates the terms of her probation, according to the news release.
Avery is restricted from being employed as a bookkeeper in any manner, and she must disclose her conviction to any prospective employer or volunteer organization prior to employment or volunteer work with an organization, the news release said.
Avery also was ordered to pay restitution. A restitution hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Placer County Superior Court.