TACOMA, WA – Today Ryan Rhoads, 41, and Eric Jacobs, 42, pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft in the second degree, three counts of unlawful issuance of checks or drafts, one count of attempted theft in the second degree, and one count of theft in the third degree. The defendants used a youth baseball club’s bank account to write bad checks for club and personal expenses. Rhoads and Jacobs were released on their personal recognizance.
Rhoads and Jacobs are the president and vice-president of Pioneer Pony Baseball, a local youth sports club based in Tacoma. Beginning in 2012, the pair wrote a series of bad checks, on the baseball club’s bank account. The checks, totaling over $23,000, were written after the account was closed or when it had a negative balance. In addition to writing bad checks, Rhoads and Jacobs collected fees for uniforms, which were never provided to the players.
“Unfortunately, Pioneer Pony Baseball was a long con,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “Many members of our community contributed money so that children could enjoy and learn from our national pastime. Their hopes and trust were exploited.”
Court records indicate Rhoads has been listed as a respondent in 31 civil cases in Pierce, King and Kitsap Counties, and currently owes over $768,000 in judgments. Jacobs is listed as a co-respondent in three of the cases, which resulted in excess of $600,000 in judgments.
In October 2013, Rhoads was charged with theft for writing a bad check to pay for $2700 worth of services completed on his vehicle.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office