Former Chatfield High School volleyball booster pleads guilty in theft of club's funds

Kathleen McGrath could face prison

GOLDEN, Colo. - A serial thief has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $10,000 from the volleyball booster club at Chatfield Senior High School.

Kathleen McGrath, 56, the former treasurer of the Spiker’s Booster Club, could face upward of six years in prison when she is sentenced on March 16.

The CSHS volleyball coach called the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office after a player saw a story about McGrath, 56, on 7NEWS in March of 2013, when she was arrested for allegedly embezzling $170,000 from the construction company where she had worked.

Coach Stephanie Schick told deputies it appeared that money was missing from their account and they hadn’t been able to contact McGrath for three months.

During the investigation, Schick found $8,548.55 in booster club account money was used to buy items at Costco, Walmart and Verizon Wireless, according to the arrest affidavit.

Investigators said they found the money was used to buy two sets of four tires, cigarettes, food, cash cards and other items.

As club treasurer, McGrath was an authorized signer on the club's account.  The account was funded via fundraising efforts organized by parents and players to benefit the team. Most of the money raised came in as cash, which was given to McGrath to deposit into the club's bank account.

Shortly after her arrest, Jefferson County District Attorney Peter Weir told 7NEWS that his office takes cases like this seriously for two reasons, "The violation of trust associated with this kind of crime, and secondly, because of the impact that it has on really dedicated members of our community, parents and students who work so hard to earn the money to help clubs and organizations do the kind of work they do on behalf of kids."

McGrath served as treasurer from March 2012 through February 2013, when the funds were stolen, prosecutors said.

A felony summons was issued for McGrath in October 2013.

Prosecutors said when McGrath did not respond to the felony summons, a warrant was issued for her arrest in November 2013.

She was picked up in Douglas County on March 13, 2014.

This wasn't the first time McGrath has been accused of stealing large amounts of money.

She was arrested on Feb. 27, 2013, on allegations she embezzled $170,000 from her former employer, Metro Construction of Denver. In that case, McGrath pleaded guilty to one count of theft and was sentenced to ten years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $156,459.37.

In July 2009, McGrath was arrested by Cherry Hills police on charges of theft and check forgery. She pleaded guilty to felony theft but was given a deferred judgment that allowed her to clear her record in April 2011, according to court records.

Read about McGrath's other criminal cases: http://ch7ne.ws/1iffV6u

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