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Utah trapshooters shocked by association scandle

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Feb 4, 2013.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Utah trapshooters shocked by gun association scandal

    SPANISH FORK — A Utah gun sport association has been put in a difficult position after the former president and treasurer were accused of stealing some $30,000 from the organization.

    Criminal charges have been filed against Heath and Vivian Sabey, respectively the former president and treasurer of the Utah State TrapShooting Association. Charging documents claim the couple used USTA checks and a debit card connected to the organization's accounts to pay for personal expenses.

    The organization, with roughly 1500 members, puts on competitions throughout the year, with small events occurring nearly every weekend.

    Some members of the USTA were floored by the accusations and the breech of trust that came with them.

    "While he was doing this, he was right there shooting with everybody he was stealing from," said member Steve Show. "That's what kind of upsets everybody."

    The situation came to light in August of 2012 after the large state shoot, the biggest competition of the year. A president is elected during that event.

    Heath Sabey ran for re-election, but failed to win. That forced him to turn over the books to the incoming administrators, who quickly saw that something was wrong, according to USTA minutes posted to the association's website. Sabey dragged his feet in turning over the records to the association's new officers, leading to some suspicion.

    An audit showed that there were dozens of problems, including checks written out to the Sabeys directly and even one check for $200 written out to cash. Many checks have only one signature on them, while the association's bylaws require two.

    Records show that at one point nine ATM withdrawals were made on a single day, each for $50. There were several checks written in amounts over $1000. Over the year, almost $30,000 was not accounted for, including money that was given to the USTA, but was never deposited.

    There were also charges on the debit card at stores like gas stations and Walmart.

    It wasn't until October that the full details of the accusations and questionable transactions were released to the general public. Charges were only recently filed.

    Most don't seem at all sure as to what would motivate someone to take from the association. Some members described the Sabeys as friends who were very nice and helped them with their shooting.

    A check, written out to cash, apparently by Heath Sabey, and bearing only one signature.

    "They didn't come across as the type of people who would do that," said one member who did not want to be named.

    "It was just kind of heartbreaking to see that someone did that," he said.

    Not everyone was quite as surprised. Snow knew Sabey while he was president of the Spanish Fork Gun Club, and said Sabey sometimes said things that he didn't believe.

    "I kinda wondered a while before I knew because I just think he's a shady character myself," Snow said.

    Nevertheless, the reasons for the alleged crimes remain a mystery.

    The Sabeys have since dropped out of trap shooting, and several people said they have not heard from them since the allegations came out.

    Minutes for the Oct. 22 meeting of the USTA indicated that the organization intends to make changes in orter to guarantee fraud is unlikely, including switching to a bank that will only allow payment on checks with two signatures.

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