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Father, son arraigned in Little League theft case

Stephen Komins and his father, Stanley, appeared before a judge Friday in Somerville District Court.

David Sokol/Pool

Stephen Komins and his father, Stanley, appeared before a judge Friday in Somerville District Court.

The amount of money unaccounted for at the West Medford Hillside Little League could reach as high as $180,000, according to police records made available Friday that indicate the financial trouble at the league is greater than previously disclosed.

The records also allege that the ­father and son accused of embezzling money from the league allegedly spent some of the funds to buy cigarettes, magazines, and a bed.

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Stanley Komins, 78, and Steven Komins, 45, both of Stoneham, were arraigned on embezzlement charges Friday morning in Somerville District Court. Judge Neil Walker ordered them to surrender their passports and not leave the state. The judge entered pleas of not guilty for them.

Authorities have previously said that the Kominses embezzled upwards of $50,000, but a police report ­obtained by the Globe identified $180,000 in discrepancies between bank statements and financial ­reports to the state between 2006 and 2011.

“The financial records for the West Medford Hillside Little League were in shambles,” Medford ­police Lieutenant Michael Goulding wrote in a ­police report obtained by the Globe. “Their [the Kominses] efforts of blocking access to the WMHLL accounts and financials and failing to keep and provide accurate records is troubling.”

An audit of the league — conducted in November 2011 by accounting firm Magnan, Graizzaro and Associates — found $180,970 in unjustified financial irregularities dating back to 2006, according to the report by Goulding.

Prosecutors said the Kominses, who had sole possession of the league’s bank account with Brookline Bank, regularly wrote themselves checks from the league’s account between 2007 and 2011 and ­obtained a $10,000 loan from the bank for construction of a snack stand that was never built and pocketed money from the league’s snack stand, according to prosecutors.

They also used league money to make personal purchases at BJ’s Wholesale Club of about $1,700, including small items like cigarettes and magazines, as well as a bed and bed frame, according to the police report.

Questions about the league’s financial status arose when Stanley Komins announced his retirement in October 2011, but refused to hand over the books and attempted to close the account before the board could review it, Goulding wrote. That move was blocked by the league’s board, which received control of the finances in early November.

At that time, the league’s bank account had $9 in it, according to current team president John D’Orazio. Stanley Komins provided the league with a $100 bill in a white envelope and suggested it open a new bank account with it, according to the police report. The league has recouped about $35,000 through its insurance plan, D’Orazio has previously said.

The Kominses said little in their appearance in court, only responding to questions from Walker on their understanding of the conditions of their release and of the appointment of a state-funded lawyer for them. They refused requests for comment after proceedings.

The elder Komins was president of the league for more than 20 years, and his son was treasurer. Stanley Komins was inducted into the Mustangs Hall of Fame in 2002, which honors former Medford High School athletes, as well as coaches and community leaders, according to its website.

Reg Graham, a board member of the Mustang Hall of Fame, said the charges were shocking.

“Stanley’s reputation has always been pretty stellar,” he said in a phone interview Friday. “I think the community as a whole was shocked by these allegations,”

It took prosecutors and police more than a year to compile the case against the men, Assistant District Attorney Lila Palmer said in court.

“This was a complicated case,” she said. “And this is a strong case.”

Both men are charged with larceny by embezzlement over $250. Stephen Komins is also charged with uttering a false check and forgery by check.

They are scheduled to ­appear in court Feb. 8 for a hearing.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. ­Follow him on Twitter ­@JarretBencks.

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