Convict makes final restitution payment to Cecil Soccer
— A woman who embezzled $42,000 from the Cecil County Soccer League while serving as that group’s treasurer has repaid the organization — some eight years after she was convicted and ordered to pay restitution.
The defendant, Cheryl Ann Hurtt, 50, now of Wilmington, Del., submitted a $17,585 check to Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins III earlier this week to pay off her debt. Rollins, in turn, presented that check to CCSL board member Joe Tanner and current treasurer Gary Duffy on Thursday.
“We are very pleased to get the money back,” Tanner said, noting that more than 1,200 children who live in Cecil County play on CCSL teams during the fall season and that the same number of youngsters participate during the spring season.
CCSL’s budget covers a variety of expenses, including purchasing and maintaining equipment, paying referees and keeping up the fields. Hurtt’s fulfillment of her restitution obligation will help with CCSL’s plan to expand the existing Chesland Soccer Complex in the 400 block of Elk Forest Road, north of Chesapeake City.
Rollins said he also was pleased, adding that it can be difficult to collect restitution.
“In these kind of cases, the only leverage I have is to stick them in jail. The choice is, you can pay the restitution or you can serve time in jail at $10 a day until it is paid off,” Rollins said, adding, “Faced with that choice, a person with any ability to pay at all will pay the restitution.”
In even more extreme cases, the state can turn to the State of Maryland Central Collection Unit to recover restitution, according to Rollins, who noted that the unit has more power than prosecutors in that area, such as intercepting a defendant’s tax returns.
While serving as CCSL’s treasurer, Hurtt stole $42,000 from that organization between 2005 and 2007, prosecutors said. The organization’s board of directors suspected something was amiss after studying financial records and contacted the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, which launched an investigation, prosecutors added.
“She was siphoning off the money, a little bit at a time over that time period,” Rollins explained.
In May 2008, after the CCSO investigation resulted in a Cecil County grand jury indictment against Hurtt, she pleaded guilty to theft scheme of more than $500 as part of a plea deal, according to court records.
Now-retired Cecil County Circuit Court Judge O. Robert Lidums imposed a five-year sentence sentence on Hurtt and suspended all but six months of it, court records show.
Those court documents also indicate that the judge ordered Hurtt to serve five years of probation, after completing her six-month jail term, and to pay $42,000 in restitution to the CCSL during that probation pe-
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“She had made some effort to pay back the money,” reported Rollins, who did not have records regarding the exact sum of paid restitution as if that point.
Because Hurtt had failed to pay all of the restitution in the allotted time, however, the judge found her guilty
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is held the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. However, the board announced Friday that the start time would be pushed back to 8:30 p.m. to allow not only the mayor and commissioners, but other Perryville residents to attend the Upper Chesapeake presentation at Minker Banquet Hall at 6 p.m. The hall is located of violation of probation in October 2014, placed her on five more years of probation and ordered her to pay the unpaid balance of restitution, court records show.
Earlier this week, less than 18 months into that her second five-year probation, Hurtt paid $17,585 in restitution to fulfill her obligation. at station 1 of the Community Fire Company of Perryville, located at 920 Principio Furnace Road.
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Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins III presents a $17,585 restitution check to Joe Tanner, Cecil County Soccer League board member, and current CCSL treasurer Gary Duffy.