Charges: Youth baseball officers scammed team, community

TACOMA, Wash.-- Two Pierce County men were charged Wednesday with using a youth baseball club to swindle more than $23,000.

Prosecutors say 41-year old Ryan Rhoads and 42-year old Eric Jacobs were president and vice president of Tacoma's Pioneer Pony Baseball when, in 2012, they began writing bad checks using the club's bank account.

The checks, which totaled more than $23,000, were written after the account had closed or when it had a negative balance, prosecutors say. The duo is also accused of collecting fees for player uniforms and then spending the money on themselves.

"Unfortunately, Pioneer Pony Baseball was a long con," Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said in a Wednesday news release. "Many members of our community contributed money so that children could enjoy and learn from our national pastime. Their hopes and trust were exploited."

This isn't he first time the two men have been accused of scamming people, either. Court records show Rhoads has been listed as a respondent in 31 civil cases in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties, and he currently owners $768,000 in judgements.

Jacobs is listed as a co-respondent in three of the cases, which resulted in excess of $600,000 in judgments, according to prosecutors.

In October 2013, Rhoads was charged with theft for writing a bad check to pay for $2,700 worth of services completed on his vehicle.

The men were charged Wednesday with two counts of second degree theft, three counts of unlawful issuance of checks, one count of second degree attempted theft and one count of third degree theft.

Summons' have been issued for Rhoads and Jacobs to appear in court on July 16.