An 50-year-old Audubon woman was arrested this week on charges of check fraud after stealing funds from a local youth cheerleader group and wiring the money to an address in Ghana.
According to a report from CBS3 Thursday, Susan Loberto, treasurer for the Oaklyn Cats cheerleaders, was scammed out of some $9,400 of the club's money by a man she met on an online dating service.
With those dollars needed to pay for uniforms, gas and entry fees to this year's contests, the club is scratching its head as to where the money is going to come from.
Melissa Lozada, publicity and recruiting director for the Oaklyn Cats Cheerleading, said the group was declining interviews, but offered a statement assuring the public that the season would continue as planned:
We, Oaklyn Cats Cheerleading Board of Directors, always put our cheerleaders as our FIRST priority. An unfortunate situation has arisen with our finances. At this time we are moving forward in a positive manner and confident our season will continue as planned. We appreciate everyone’s generosity to help our cheerleaders. With the overwhelming support from our Cats family and surrounding communities we are looking forward to another successful season.
Patch readers also emailed to voice their concerns.
"They make the kids have so many fundraisers," wrote one, "selling candy, canning at food stores or out in the traffic lanes, etc.
"I feel like, 'who was watching [the] barn door?'"
If you're a Patch reader who's been affected by the theft and you'd like to tell your story, email editor Matt Skoufalos at firstname.lastname@example.org.