Theft From Youth Sports League Alleged

KINGSTON — A man in Luzerne County surrendered to police after being accused of stealing money from a youth basketball league.

Christopher Walsh of Dallas was one of three co-founders of the Luzerne County Lightning, a traveling youth basketball league based out of Kingston.

Tuesday morning, Walsh turned himself in at a magistrate’s office in Kingston to face several theft charges.

Kingston police accuse Walsh of stealing more than $6,000 from the organization.

Walsh and two other men formed the league last year. Organizers say about 150 boys and girls between fifth and tenth grades were signed up to play.

Walsh was in charge of handling the money.

His co-founders say businesses that dealt with the league were starting to complain they weren’t getting paid.

In the spring, the co-founders discovered there wasn’t enough money to send the kids to the final tournament of the season.

“When do you get an opportunity to go to nationals? That comes around once in a lifetime. She’ll never see that again. And, as Pete stated, his team, the same thing. So the kids are the ones that are hurt here, not us,” said Jack Robinson, a co-founder of the league.

Walsh works as an eighth grade history teacher at West Hazleton elementary/middle school.

Calls to the Hazleton Area School District have not yet been returned so we are not sure how these charges may affect his job.

Walsh is currently free on bail.