Man sentenced to probation for embezzling money from youth hockey league, must pay restitution

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WORCESTER, Massachusetts — The former volunteer treasurer of a youth hockey organization has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $29,000 from the group but won't serve any time behind bars.

Roger Lee, 52, of Leominster, wrote and cashed 49 checks, leaving just $400 in the Ashburnham-Westminster Youth Hockey Association's account, according to the Worcester district attorney's office.

"He stole from the friends and teammates of his own child," Assistant District Attorney John A. O'Leary said during a plea hearing Thursday in Worcester Superior Court.

Michael Ovaska, a member of the board at Ashburnham-Westminster Youth Hockey Association, said they want to make sure Lee never does it again.

"He didn't just steal from us — he stole from 120 families, including his own son who played in the league," he said. "We want to make sure he doesn't have an opportunity to do this again."

Lee pleaded guilty to larceny and was sentenced to two years in jail, but the judge credited him for 215 days he already served and suspended the remainder of the sentence for five years of probation.

Lee has paid $10,000 in restitution and must pay the rest within five years.

Lee's attorney, Sean Smith, said his client has "no excuses" and accepts responsibility for what he did.

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