Omaha Sports activities Academy founder pleads no contest to embezzlement cost | Crime Information

The founder and former common supervisor of the Omaha Sports activities Academy has pleaded no contest to a lowered cost in reference to the reported embezzlement of a whole lot of 1000’s of {dollars} from the enterprise.

Robert Franzese, 49, entered the no contest plea as a part of a negotiated settlement that resulted within the discount of 1 theft cost and the dismissal of a second one. He faces as much as two years in jail and 12 months of supervised launch.

Franzese had confronted as much as 20 years in jail on every of two felony theft counts alleging that he stole a complete of $400,000 from the enterprise.

The amended felony data to which Franzese pleaded says that he stole $218,205 between July 2018 and July 2021. The lowered cost usually applies to any theft between $1,500 and $4,999.

In alternate for the plea, the Douglas County Legal professional’s Workplace not solely lowered the theft cost to a less-serious felony but in addition dismissed one other theft cost that alleged he stole $180,000 extra.

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He might be sentenced Aug. 19. A decide’s word within the case says: “By settlement of the events, no restitution might be ordered.”

Douglas County Legal professional Don Kleine mentioned the deal leaves open the choice for a civil lawsuit towards Franzese.

Kleine beforehand mentioned investigators suspected that Franzese was utilizing the cash for playing.

Willie Douglas, co-owner of Quick Break Sports activities LLC, informed Omaha police in June 2021 that the alleged embezzlement occurred from December 2016 to April 2021, when Franzese was faraway from this system.

Quick Break Sports activities LLC is the restricted legal responsibility firm related to OSA and Predator Basketball League, in accordance with data with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s Workplace.

The alleged theft was found as a part of an audit. Auditors discovered that cash from a regional match organizer that was supposed to enter OSA’s coffers was as a substitute being deposited into Franzese’s private financial institution accounts.

Franzese was well-known within the native youth basketball group, which has grown quickly through the years. A 2019 World-Herald article famous that the Omaha Sports activities Academy league consisted of 600 native groups. On the time, OSA itself fielded 60 groups — 45 boys and 15 ladies — third by way of eighth grade.

“On common weekends,” the article continued, “OSA can get 15,000 folks by way of its doorways. On huge match weekends, Bob Franzese, common supervisor and co-owner of Omaha Sports activities Academy, is working video games on 30 courts, from Bellevue to Council Bluffs to Elkhorn.”

A former lawyer of Franzese’s informed The World-Herald after Franzese’s arrest that he has handled habit, anxiousness and despair. He checked himself right into a Minnesota rehabilitation heart in April 2021 to deal with these issues.

After Franzese’s arrest, Adidas’ distinguished 3SSB circuit eliminated OSA from its rolls, demoting this system to its gold league.