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Former soccer chief pleads guilty

Michael Idzikowski forged receipts worth thousands to children's league and kept the money

By Barbara Brown

The Hamilton Spectator

(May 30, 2007)

A past president of the Quinndale Community Council who stole $18,000 from the youth soccer league may have to trade in his cleats for an electronic monitoring bracelet when he returns to court for sentencing in July.

Michael Idzikowski, 45, pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 yesterday, admitting to forging receipts and invoices worth thousands of dollars for items he claimed to have purchased on behalf of the Hamilton league.

Ontario Court Justice John Takach warned the soccer dad that a proposed conditional sentence with a term of house arrest would be contingent on his making substantial restitution to the nonprofit organization when he returns to court.

The east Mountain sports council runs a mixed league for about 350 boys and girls aged four to 16. Their parents pay fees of $95 per child.

Idzikowski was president from 2003 until 2005, during which time he made many fraudulent claims and was reimbursed $14,097 by the treasurer. Assistant Crown attorney Stan Dudzic said the figure did not include about $300 of misappropriated beer and missing registration cash.

Between May 2004 and June the following year, he received four cheques totalling nearly $6,000 to obtain and install new goalposts for the park on Queen Victoria Drive. Although the posts never materialized, Idzikowski submitted two forged invoices to explain what happened to the money.

Rocco Rosa, an executive member at the time, said the council did not know the extent of the fraud until after police began investigating the incident involving the goalposts.

"It was a shocking revelation," said Rosa.

"What really hurt was that he was one of us. We were all parents who were donating our time for the good of our kids. He didn't take from us, from our organization: he took from our kids."

At regular intervals, Idzikowski would submit receipts for $2,000 or more from various sporting goods stores where he claimed to have purchased line paint.

In 2004, he submitted a forged invoice for $2,070 for printing.


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