By LUKE DUECY
FEDERAL WAY -- Police here are investigating a person accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from three children's sports leagues.
Investigators say all signs point to a former employee. The person allegedly stole funds from the Federal Way American Little League, The Puget sound Junior Football League and the Federal Way Hawks Football Franchise.
"It's looking like $16,000 to $20,000 has been embezzled at this point," said Ofc. Raymond Bunk.
There have been no arrests so far, but detectives say the money trail begins on local ball fields.
"This person has not been contacted or arrested at this point, because we are still investigating and collecting evidence," said Bunk.
League officials said thousands of dollars began to disappear last year.
Police have not determined just how the suspect spent the stolen money, which was intended for field maintenance other league supplies. Without the money, hundreds of kids' playing fields are in jeopardy.
Some 300 members belong to the Federal Way Hawks franchise, and about 210 players belong to the Federal Way American Little League. More than a thousand kids belong to the Puget Sound Football League. The leagues raised funds by selling concessions at games.
One league commissioner said he wonders how anyone could steal from the kids, especially in this struggling economy, and put the league in jeopardy.
League officials said they're waiting for police officers to make an arrest before they comment on this incident.