A Payson husband and wife are under arrest for reportedly failing to pay 35 Valley umpires for little league baseball games they umpped.
William Werner, 45, and Bonnie Huffman, 40, were arrested March 2 at their Payson home and charged on 35 counts of fraudulent schemes, according to a press release from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The pair “are suspected of fraud after being contracted to provide East Valley little league baseball games with umpires and failing to follow through with payment to the umpires themselves,” the release states.
As owners of Arizona Desert Umpire (AZDU), Huffman and Werner were paid more than $36,000 to provide umpires for games. AZDU still owes 35 umpires, who range from high school students to retirees, more than $25,000.
“It is a sad day when these types of criminals start taking advantage of a great American pass time like little league baseball,” said Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
So far, the sheriff’s office has uncovered that more than $53,000 was deposited into AZDU’s business accounts, with the majority of that money used for personal expenditures.
Werner and Huffman were booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail in the Valley.