Charity President Pleads Not Guilty to $68K Embezzlement

A Daly City man who founded a regional Filipino organization has been using the group's funds to bet on horse races.

A man accused of taking about $68,000 from the Daly City charity that he led for 12 years and gambling it on horses pleaded not guilty Thursday to embezzling charges, prosecutors said today.

Ruperto Reyes, 74, was president of the nonprofit Luzon Visayas Mindanao Association, a Filipino-American organization intended to provide aid to local community members, from August 2000 to June 2012, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

The group raised around $73,000 over the years but only distributed around $5,000. When other board members at the nonprofit began asking to see the books earlier this year, Reyes allegedly delayed them and made excuses, prosecutors said.

Eventually, board members went to the bank and discovered that a bank account that should have held around $68,000 contained only $19.

When confronted, Reyes apologized and promised to pay the money back, but only paid $2,500, prosecutors said.

After board members went to police, detectives determined that Reyes had used the account's ATM card 188 times to make withdrawals at the Jockey Club in San Mateo, a facility for betting on horse racing.

Reyes pleaded not guilty to the embezzling charges Thursday and was assigned an attorney. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to return to court Nov. 7 for a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.

-Bay City News

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