Booster club embezzler avoids prison, but not hefty restitution - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Booster club embezzler avoids prison, but not hefty restitution

Mia Balazowich, who admitted to stealing more than $30,000 from the Springfield Local Schools Athletic Booster Club, must repay the money, yet avoided prison time at sentencing Tuesday. (Source: WOIO) Mia Balazowich, who admitted to stealing more than $30,000 from the Springfield Local Schools Athletic Booster Club, must repay the money, yet avoided prison time at sentencing Tuesday. (Source: WOIO)
Mia Balazowich at sentencing hearing. (Source: WOIO) Mia Balazowich at sentencing hearing. (Source: WOIO)
Mia Balazowich (Source: Summit Co. Sheriff's Office) Mia Balazowich (Source: Summit Co. Sheriff's Office)
AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

Mia Balazowich, who admitted to stealing more than $30,000 from the Springfield Local Schools Athletic Booster Club, must repay the money, yet avoided prison time at sentencing Tuesday.

Judge Alison Breaux sentenced Balazowich to the maximum amount of probation she could: five years. The judge also ordered her to pay $100 a month more than the $250 restitution she had offered to pay, saying: “This has got to hurt a little."

Still, that will take more than seven years, and students just entering the fifth grade will be seniors when the debt is paid off.

In a pre-sentence report, Balazowich admitted she spent boosters money to pay for her daughters wedding.

Balazowich pleaded guilty to grand theft after draining the clubs special project fund. Balazowich, who had agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $30,812.67, was the booster club treasurer for the Springfield Local School District at the time.  

Prosecutors filed charges after parents became suspicious of withdrawal from the booster club account. Many were for hundreds of dollars and for items like expensive round roasts and party favors. Nothing that they would use at their concession stand fund raising events.

Money for the booster club was raised from dinners, raffles and concessions.  

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