Charlotte Co. Boys & Girls Club founder arrested for theft

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- The founder of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County is facing prison time after being accused of theft and racketeering.

Those who have worked closely with 52-year-old Mitchell Brooks are shocked to hear he’s suspected of stealing nearly $1.5 million from the National Plasterers Council.

“I was surprised, really, that he’s capable of doing something, or being accused of doing something like that,” said Lynn Dorler, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte County.

In 2003, the National Plasterers Council hired Brooks to stay on top of its finances. Ten years later, the organization began to question why money was missing from its account.

“As a board member, you know you get, you have a relationship with your board members, you know people… you think,” said Dorler.

Charlotte County investigators say Brooks spent most of the money on himself, but some of it also went to the Boys and Girls Club.

“At the time in 2010, we had cash flow issues. We were under a huge grant from the state that were reimbursable and we were trying to figure out how to get out cash flow in order,” said Dorler.

Dorler says the money from Brooks was a loan that they paid back weeks later. After a lesson learned, the Boys and Girls Club says it no longer borrows money from board members.

“Well I didn’t, I would have never have known this was going on because you wouldn’t know it from knowing him,” said Dorler.

If Brooks is convicted, he faces up to 90 years in prison.

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