Ex-youth group leader admits he stole thousands from scouts
Raffi Donoyan changed his mind. He did it.
On Aug. 20, Donoyan, 49, from Burlington, entered a plea reversal, pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from an Armenian youth group after previously saying he didn’t do it, the Attorney General’s Office said.
According to a press release from the Attorney General’s office, Donovan pleaded guilty to stealing more than $120,000 from 2003 to 2005 from Homenetmen Eastern Region, Inc., a Watertown-based nonprofit athletic organization.
Homenetmen did not immediately return calls for comment.
Some of the funds Donoyan allegedly stole were from young Homenetmen athletes who paid to attend to the Olympic Games in Athens in 2005.
According to the Attorney General’s office, Donoyan was stealing the money over the course of his tenure as Homenetmen regional athletic director. He also sat on the board overseeing the entire eastern arm of the national organization, with ten chapters in New York, Illinois, Florida, Philadelphia, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.
Donoyan was fingered after Homenetmen started investigating book-keeping irregularities in 2005 after the organization’s treasurer and president confronted him. According to the Attorney General’s office, Donoyan had been writing checks to himself from the organization’s bank account. He told the group’s leaders the lowering balance was the result of the IRS taking money out of their bank account.
In February of 2005, Donoyan deposited $20,000 of his own money into the Homenetmen bank account, but started making withdrawals again only a few months later, taking cash from the nonprofit from May to August of that year.
Donoyan was indicted on Nov. 27, 2007 and arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court that December, where he pleaded not guilty, the Attorney General’s office said. He was released on personal recognizance but pleaded guilty to the thefts last week.
He will be sentenced October 3. He is being charged with two counts of larceny over $250, a felony.
Watertown TAB & Press