Manager held for soaking swim club of 112G

Sotillo
Sotillo
Posted: August 19, 2009

Jose Sotillo, the former manager of the renowned Suburban Swim Center, didn't have much of a strategy for covering his tracks, according to Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green.

He simply dived into the swim club's bank account and drained it of more than $100,000, leaving the Newtown Square nonprofit belly up, Green said.

Sotillo, 33, of Pottstown, was arrested yesterday and charged with felony theft and related counts for allegedly writing dozens of checks to himself and to JB International, an Internet marketing company that he owned.

"He was hired because he was an excellent coach, that's why he was brought into this program," Green said of Sotillo, who was named aquatics director and manager in 2006 and later was appointed to the center's board of directors.

The Suburban Swim Center, founded in 1959, has helped cultivate world-record-setters and Olympics champions, including Haverford High graduate Brendan Hansen, who won gold medals in Athens and Beijing.

Sotillo's alleged embezzlement - $112,000 in all - came to light last December when Peco shut off the power at the swim center for nonpayment of a $45,000 bill. The club on Gradyville Road hasn't reopened since.

"The membership has been forced to find alternative facilities for their use," Green said. "The swim program has been decimated by Sotillo's greed. Mr. Sotillo abused the position of trust placed in him by the parents of Suburban Swim Club members."

Sotillo had no comment yesterday as he was led out of the county courthouse in Media.

Green urged businesses and nonprofit organizations to guard against internal theft by implementing simple safeguards, such as assigning a person to monitor checking accounts who does not have the authority to write checks.

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