New details: woman arrested after embezzling $57K from youth hockey association

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Rogue Valley Youth Hockey Association is out nearly 60-thousand dollars. A former board member is accused of pocketing that money over the course of about three years.

Police say the Rogue Valley Youth Hockey Association can begin to move forward after a former board member was arrested for stealing from the nonprofit.

“This case it wasn’t that hard to figure out where the money was going, we knew it was going to her we just didn’t know how much so that’s what was taking a long time.”

From 2016 to 2019, a paper trail put together by police shows, 43-year-old Cara Jane Ruettgers stole about $57,000 for personal funds from the rogue valley youth hockey association. She was the treasurer and then-president of the organization during that time. In January, the board of directors alerted police that some money might have been stolen within the organization. Police say with the help of the department of justice they found Ruettgers had stolen money from fundraisers and donations for the non-profit. Investigators say she did it little by little, over time, transferring the money directly to her personal accounts or to pay off debt.

“This is something that we, unfortunately, see quite a bit when there’s one person in charge of the bookkeeping. They have a lot they can do with that unfortunately and it can be a while before someone else discovers something’s wrong.”

Police believe Ruettgers was the only person involved.

Now that she’s been arrested, Budreau says the non-profit can start to put it behind it.

“Obviously this is going to be debilitating a bit but as far as I know they’re moving forward and they’re trying to recoup their losses as best they can. But for now, that money’s gone.”

Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Ruettgers on aggravated theft, identity theft, forgery, and other charges. We reached out to the Rogue Valley Youth Hockey Association for comment, as well as families involved in the program. No one was willing to speak on the record.

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