ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG)- The former president of the Lower Alabama Fleet Feet Running Club, Walter Graham, is facing one first-degree felony charge of theft after fellow members found inconsistencies in the club’s bookkeeping.
Club Vice President, Ron Smith, says he and the club’s treasurer took over the bookkeeping in March of 2016. It was at that point they realized funds may have been missing over a span of several years.
They turned the information over to the Orange Beach Police Department who has been investigating the case for the last 16 months.
Lieutenant Steve Brown says department investigator Trent Johnson has taken over the case and seized documents from the club.
The police department says the investigation shows Graham allegedly wrote checks in the club’s name to his personal business, ‘Graham Foods,’ also known as ‘Gail’s Biscuits.’
The Gulf Shores resident also allegedly used the running club’s debit card to purchase personal items for himself, wrote himself checks for his rent and wrote checks to family members.
This allegedly happened over a five-year period from 2011 to 2016, totaling over $119,000.
Club members contacted Orange Beach Police since it uses a PNC Bank based out of the city and its registered address is based within city limits.
Police say Graham turned himself in to authorities on August 29th. He was released less than an hour after he was booked on a 75-hundred dollar bond.
His preliminary hearing was scheduled for 8:30AM Thursday morning but it has been postponed.
News 5 has reached out to the running club for comment but members have declined to go on camera.
Lower Alabama Fleet Feet raises funds by charging membership fees and fees for races. The money typically goes to charities.