A Perry Hall man was found guilty Thursday of stealing money from one of the nation's oldest bowling leagues, according to the Baltimore County State's Attorney's Office.
, 61, of the unit block of Hedgeford Court, was sentenced to pay $45,000 to the at over the next three years. He was also sentenced to three years probation, said John Cox, a deputy state's attorney for Baltimore County.
The judge waived court fees and a fine "so all of his money could go toward restitution," Cox said. The trial lasted less than an hour.
Collins served as the volunteer treasurer for the league between August 2010 and May 2011. He was voted out of the position and accused of stealing from a prize fund. An official audit, conducted by the United States Bowling Congress, showed that about $47,000 was missing from the organization's coffers, according to a police report.
Following a police investigation, Collins was arrested in June and charged with theft between $10,000 and $100,000, a court record shows.
Money for the league's prize fund had been collected from 120 bowlers. Each Drug Trade League player had contributed between $200 and $1,000 toward the league over the course of the season. While a portion of the money was typically used to pay bowling alley fees, most of it went toward a prize fund that was expected to be redistributed to the members of each season's winning teams.
Collins had been elected treasurer by fellow league members. His responsibilities included counting and collecting each team's money in an envelope every week. He was expected to pay the fees of teams at Perry Hall Lanes and deposit the remaining money into an account at the , according to a police report.
On the evening of May 16, Collins was expected to divide each team's winnings and place them into team envelopes—but Collins was nowhere to be found. The following day, his wife filed a missing persons report, according to the police report.
League leaders later found him at the American Legion Post in Parkville. Collins told the leaders that the league's money was gone and that he had "let a lot of people down," according to the police report.
Collins told the leaders that he and his wife had traveled to Delaware over the weekend and while he was away, a relative had held a party at his house. When he returned, he said, the league's money was missing. Collins told leaders that he would pay it back, a police report stated.