Phoenix PD: Arizona Sunrays possible victim of embezzlement

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

One of the Valley's best known gymnastics and dance clubs may have been cheated out of a lot of money.

Phoenix police have confirmed that there's an active investigation into possible embezzlement that targeted the Arizona Sunrays.

The embezzlement investigation centers around the Arizona Sunrays parent booster club, which raises money for kids and programs.

The prime suspect appears to be someone connected to that booster club.

Arizona Sunrays has a long history in the Valley, helping train world class gymnasts, while providing instruction and classes for boys and girls ranging in age from 6 months to young adults.

Arizona Sunrays also offers camps for kids year round.

The parent booster club helps raise money for programs and equipment, and helps families who might not be able to afford activities for their kids.

The Phoenix Police Department released this statement:

"There is an investigation into embezzlement where this organization was the reported victim. The case has been submitted to the prosecuting authority."

A number of parents were surprised to hear that someone would steal money from Arizona Sunrays.

"It's sort of shocking because the program is amazing," said Liza Tenenbaum. "It's all about the children. The owners are really great people, very dedicated and have been around a long, long time. It's just really upsetting."

"It's a program for the children, and to take something from them is taking from the kids," said Erin Dalton. "That's horrible. They need to be held accountable."

Arizona Sunrays released this statement:

"The parent booster club has made us aware of a current investigation into alleged monetary irregularities that occurred in the past."

"This isolated, unfortunate situation has not faded the great work that Arizona Sunrays does in our community and for our students and their families."

So far, no charges have been filed in the case and the name of the suspect has not been released.

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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