Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Former coach sentenced; agrees to repay soccer cash

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A former leader of kids soccer in Northern Kenucky promises he'll pay back within 30 days the $10,000 he misused in soccer money.

        Patrick Lense was sentenced Monday to two years' probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine for his conviction on one count of theft by deception. He also must continue psychological counseling and do 100 hours of community service.

        Kenton Circuit Judge Gregory Bartlett is allowing Mr. Lense to suggest some possible agencies for which he might do the charity work. Those ideas are due within a month.

        Mr. Lense, his wife and his sister spoke on his behalf in court. He said again that none of the money was used for personal gain, that he only shuffled money from other soccer accounts to support the soccer magazine he published.

        Mr. Lense, 47, of Petersburg, is no longer involved in any soccer programs. Once the leader of the Northern Kentucky Soccer League, he also had a soccer Web site and hosted a radio show. He has since filed bankruptcy and said he's working on gathering the $10,000 restitution with help from his family.

        The initial complaint filed against Mr. Lense in July said $15,000 was in question. Mr. Lense has always said the amount was less than $10,000, but he agreed to repay that much in a deal with prosecutors. In exchange for the plea deal, the prosecution agreed to recommend that Mr. Lense be put on probation instead of being sent to prison. He could have faced one to five years behind bars.

        The judge also ordered that Mr. Lense have no responsibility for handling money in any organization to which he belongs.


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