Saturday, February 17, 2024

Nearly two years pass but still no hearing for former Neosho Youth League Football president on embezzling charge

If a hearing is held in the felony stealing case against former Neosho Youth Football League President Stewart Pace March 26, Newton County Circuit Court records indicate it will be the first time Pace has been in court since June 14, 2022 when his arraignment was held.

That appears to be the only time Pace, who allegedly stole at least $15,000 from the Youth Football League, has been in court.

At the time charges were filed, Judge Jacob Skouby issued a warrant for Pace's arrest and set bond at $15,000 cash only.

Online court records indicate Pace was never arrested and the warrant was withdrawn June 3 at the request of Pace's attorney, Jared Stilley.

Since the arraignment, Stilley has filed at least six motions for continuance, each time indicating he had scheduling conflicts. Judge Skouby sustained each motion.

The allegations against Pace are spelled out in the probable cause statement written by Newton County Sheriff's Office Det. Todd Morgan:

On May 4, 2022 at 13:00 hrs. I met with Jill Rogers, Susan Elledge, and Brett Day at the Newton County Sheriff's Office. Brett stated he had started the no profit organization called the Neosho Youth Football League. Brett stated that Stewart Pace was the current president of the league and Stewart's wife "Jessica Pace" was the treasurer. Stewart had been the president for approximately four years.

Susan Elledge stated the Neosho Youth Football League has a checking account at Community Bank and Trust. Susan stated that on 4/15/2022 she attempted to buy approximately $28 worth of items online for the football league.

Susan stated that the card was declined, so she believed something was wrong with her debit card.

Susan stated that she stopped by the Community Bank and Trust in Joplin and they advised her that there had been several transactions on the account and there was only $20.72 left in the account.

Jill Rogers provided me a complete folder with the bank statement back to June of 2020, minutes from the board meeting and other paperwork. Jill stated that she had went through the bank statements and highlighted all the fraudulent charges.

Jill stated that the charges done in Newton County totaled $40,062.26. The majority of those charges were done at ATMs and gas stations. Susan stated that all fraudulent charges were done using the debit card that was assigned to Jessica Pace.

Susan Elledge stated that on April 16, 2022 the football league board had an emergency meeting without Stewart and Jessica Pace.

The board was told only two weeks prior by the treasurer "Jessica Pace" that there was $22,000 in the checking account.

During that meeting, Susan called Stewart on his cell phone. This call was done on speaker phone so the board members could hear. Susan asked Stewart if he knew that the checking account was down to $20. 72. Stewart stated that he would go to the bank on Monday and look into it.

On Sunday April 17, 2022, Susan stated that she received a text from Stewart confessing that he had used the funds to "help me with financials."

Stewart and Susan responded several different times by text message. Susan stated that they closed the account on 4/20/2022. Susan made me copies of the text message between her and Stewart.

On May 5, 2022 I called and spoke with Stewart Pace. I told him I needed to speak with him and Jessica about a case I was working.

At approximately 14:20 hrs. Jessica and Stewart came to the sheriff's office. I interviewed Jessica Pace first. I read Jessica her Miranda rights and she signed a waiver stating she understood her rights. I asked Jessica if she knew why I wanted to speak with her. Jessica stated yes, it was about the football league funds being misused.

I asked Jessica who had misused it. She stated that she and her husband has misused it.

Mostly her husband.

Jessica stated that she did use the Neosho Youth Football League debit card to purchase items for her and her family. Jessica stated that this started about two years ago. Jessica stated that she would buy items at Wal-Mart for the ball league and buy items for herself at the same time. Jessica stated at different times she would get cash back at Wal-Mart and keep the cash.

I asked Jessica if she ever had to pull money from the ATM to purchase items. She stated on occasion she would have to get cash from the ATM to make change, but most of the time she would have the bank teller withdraw cash. There were several transactions at gas stations.

I asked Jessica if she ever used the debit card for gas. She stated no. I asked Jessica if she had looked at the bank statements for the league's account. She explained that about a year ago the post office box fee was not paid. The bank had sent the statements to the league's post office box.

Since the post office box was closed: they had not been receiving statements.

Jessica stated that she did not go into the bank to get the statements. Jessica stated that the last board meeting she told the board members that there was $22,000 in the account. She stated Stewart had told her that was the amount in the checking account.

Jessica stated that she believed they had used $2000 from the account. Jessica stated that she did put $2500 in the account.

Jessica stated that wrote a check and deposited it. I did find the deposit was done in February of 2022.

I then interviewed Stewart Pace. I read Stewart his Miranda rights and he stated that he understood those rights. Stewart stated that he was out of work for a while and started using the football league's money to pay bills, fix his truck and it "Just got out of hand."

Stewart stated that his wife Jessica did not know how much he had used. Stewart stated that Susan Elledge had used $1000 from the account but he did not know if she had paid the money back. Stewart stated that he has not looked at a bank statement in a while. Stewart stated that the post office box was closed due to not paying the bill.

Stewart said he paid to have the post office box reopened out of his personal account because there was not money in the football league's account.

Stewart stated that some of the cash he pulled from the ATM was used to get supplies. I asked if he had receipts. He stated that if he got receipts he would give them to Susan Elledge. I asked why he did that if Jessica was the treasurer. He stated that if they needed change they would go get it.

Stewart stated that he estimated that he took $15 000.



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Anonymous said...

Judge Skouby is where cases go to die. Yet the ego maniacal presiding judge does nothing to help speed him up.

Anonymous said...

Stewart Pace - Should be Brought to Trial - - This Ploy by the Defense Attorneys Filing Continuation after Continuation should be Stopped by the Judge - - They have admitted the Theft - Why NO PROSECUTION - -

Newton, Jasper, and McDonald Counties - - Stop allowing Criminals to Dictate the Court Systems.

It is Time that these Judges, Prosecuting Attorneys, and Jurors - - Stop allowing Criminals to get away with Crimes.

This situation where - Non Profits - Continually are having their Funds being Embezzled from inside their organizations -

If you are Running or in a Non-Profit You need to Require a Monthly Review of - Copies of Deposits / Expenditures / Monthly Bank Statements / Copies of Checks / Copies of Invoices / Copies of Receipts / Reconciliation / Audits / Reports - to clearly show the Money coming in and going out and Who Spent it and Who Deposited it.

A clear Separation of Powers - Individuals that Review / Audit the Monthly Statements from those that Spend / Use the Credit / Debit Cards / Write & Sign Checks - -

Audit / Audit / Audit - - Do Not Assume - - It must all be Documented and Reviewed.

Don’t pay for anything with cash

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Lawyers love this tactic, they can show their clients have been good little boys and girls and haven’t caused any problems for 2 years

Anonymous said...

Prosecutors in Newton County probably couldn't get to work either with their four day work week

Anonymous said...

My mistake divorce was filed in January of 2020. Trial March 16th of 2022. Still no decision or court date. If you complain you know settlement will go against you.

Anonymous said...

And that's what we're paying for to help us out of our problematic situation.

Anonymous said...

This defense attorney should be investigated. I know that he has lied to the court in at least one instance stating his client was in custody elsewhere when the client was on the run.

Anonymous said...

Looks like these complaints need to go further than this avenue.

Anonymous said...

A continuation of court dates by a defense attorney is usually because they aren’t fully paid by their client. Once you get a case adjudicated, there’s no reason for a client to pay.
By the way, I saw someone take a shot at the prosecutor. He’s far and away better than the one up north.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like several hands were in the pot. I hope all are charged no matter the amount....

Anonymous said...

I don't think they were picking on just his office is only open and accessible to the public Monday thru Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is why we can't have nice things.

Four Corners Criming Like Bonnie and Clyde Episode #542.