Husband, wife accused of stiffing Little League umpires arrested

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

MARICOPA COUNTY -- Maricopa County sheriff's detectives on Tuesday arrested the owners of Arizona Desert Umpire on dozens of fraud counts.

William Werner and his wife Bonnie Huffman own the business together. The pair was under contract to provide umpires for East Valley Little League games, but reportedly never paid those umps.

According a news release from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, AZDU allegedly was paid more than $36,000, and still owes a total of 35 umpires, ranging in age from high-school students to retirees, more than $25,000.

MCSO said investigators have discovered more than $53,000 deposited into AZDU's business accounting. Most of that money has been used for personal expenses.

“It is a sad day when these types of criminals start taking advantage of a great American pass time like little league baseball," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a news release.

Werner, 45, and Huffman, 40, were taken into custody at their Payson home Tuesday. They were later booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on 35 counts of fraudulent schemes.