The former president of the Healdsburg Youth Soccer League made his first appearance in court The former president of the Healdsburg Youth Soccer League made his first appearance in court Monday to answer felony charges of misappropriating approximately $58,000 in league funds, but was given more time to hire an attorney.
Kyle Joseph Hoffman, 37, agreed to postpone entering a plea and was released on his own recognizance pending a hearing April 18 .
Dressed in a dark, pin-stripe suit, Hoffman tried to shield his face from a photographer as he sat in the courtroom. When his case was called, he was handed a copy of the complaint, which alleges he wrote 71 checks belonging to the Youth Soccer League with the intent to defraud.
The checks ranged from $60 to $3,180 in a period from Jan. 1, 2008 until June 24, 2010.
According to the complaint, virtually all of the checks were made out to Hoffman or to "cash."
League board members last summer discovered something was amiss when league checks began to bounce and bills could not be paid. The organization's funds are primarily derived from the registration fees paid by player's families, and intended for field fees, uniforms, equipment and other costs.
League members told Healdsburg Police that Hoffman, the president and treasurer of the organization, was the only one with access to the bank accounts.
Many of the check memo entries indicated they were written to reimburse Hoffman for league expenses. But league members told police that despite repeated requests, Hoffman did not provide them with bank statements or receipts for any of the expenses to demonstrate they were legitimate.
On Monday, Hoffman told Sonoma County Judge Ken Gnoss that he had a brief conversation with an attorney several months ago, but had not hired one.
In not requiring bail, the judge noted that Hoffman voluntarily came to court to face six felony charges filed by prosecutors last month of grand theft and passing false checks. But Gnoss imposed some conditions on Hoffman, including that he not possess checks or debit cards that are not in his personal name.
Hoffman could end doing no jail time if he quickly agrees to plead guilty to some of the charges against him and makes full restitution.
Under an early case resolution offer from prosecutors, if he pays the money back in full, they would agree to three years probation and a 120-day jail sentence, which could be done under home confinement.
"We're not concerned about him being a flight risk. We're concerned about getting repayment of funds allegedly taken," District Attorney Jill Ravitch said Monday.
With no restitution, the district attorney's office offered one year in county jail in exchange for a guilty plea.
In addition to being soccer league president for about three years, the defendant founded KJ Hoffman, described as a development consulting and commercial finance company. He also worked for a company that makes marketing videos for wineries.
Hoffman had no comment on the charges as he exited the courthouse Monday following the hearing.