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High School Ice Hockey:
Prosecutor's Investigation Leads to Former Treasurer

Thursday, March 31, 2005

By Mike Pontonio
South Jersey High School Ice Hockey League President

During the spring of 2004 officials from the South Jersey High School Ice Hockey league noticed some irregularities and an apparent shortage in our checking accounts. After reviewing copies of account statements and other records it became clear to us that we had been victimized by our former treasurer Michael Stern. It was also clear that Stern in his capacity as our league treasurer had been embezzling money from our program for a number of years.

We immediately reported our suspicions to the Burlington County Prosecutor's office who commenced an investigation into the numerous instances of theft committed by Mr. Stern. Our league has cooperated fully in the Prosecutor's investigation.

The SJHSHL is an organization composed of approximately 20 clubs of highschool players from the South Jersey area. We are an all volunteer organization and like many such organizations we placed our trust in the volunteers who help run our league. Unfortunately Mr. Stern chose to violate that trust and to steal from the players who make up our league. We are deeply saddened by Mr. Stern's actions. It is our intention to prosecute Mr. Stern to the fullest extent of the law and to seek restitution from him.

We would like to thank the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office for their thoroughness and hard work in helping our league uncover the extent of this crime.

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