Spearfish man pleads guilty to embezzlement charge

July 21, 2018 GMT

DEADWOOD — A Spearfish man accused of three counts of grand theft by embezzlement, each involving a different local youth sports program, pleaded guilty to one of the charges before 4th Circuit Court Judge Michael Day Friday.

Nicholas Edward Hoffman, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of grand theft by embezzlement from the Spearfish Youth Wrestling Club. He was the club’s former treasurer.

“Hoffman admitted that between and during 2015 through 2018 he had taken money that belonged to the wrestling club and used it for personal expenses,” said Lawrence County State’s Attorney John Fitzgerald.

In return for the guilty plea and placing $14,500 restitution in escrow at the time of the change of plea, the two other counts of grand theft by embezzlement were dismissed.

“Those counts involved Queen City Futbol Club and Spearfish Rams Football,” Fitzgerald said. “The $14,500 restitution figure is payment in full for all three of the entities that lost money.”

Hoffman was vice president of the Queen City Futbol Club and submitted his resignation to the board Feb. 23. On Feb. 26, the board sent a letter to Queen City Futbol Club members’ parents notifying them of Hoffman’s resignation and the possibility of financial misconduct involving the club.

Hoffman was the commissioner of the Spearfish Rams from 2016 until he resigned at the end of February or the beginning of March this year, said Shane Deyo, co-owner of the Black Hills Youth Football and Cheer League.

Day ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set Hoffman’s sentencing for 1 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Lawrence County Courthouse in Deadwood.

Hoffman is facing a maximum of 10 years in the state penitentiary.

He is represented by attorney Matthew Kinney, of Spearfish.

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