Police are investigating allegations of fraud and theft relating to the Chew Valley Sailing Club.
A man is alleged to have embezzled more than £100,000 from Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club over the course of 10 years.
Chew Valley Lake, near Bristol, is the biggest inland waterway in the south-west of England.
Club members were told by letter that the suspect amassed more than £100,000 of the club’s money whilst holding positions on the club’s committee as treasurer, commodore and then president.
A letter distributed to members of the club stated that suspicions first grew when it was discovered at the club’s annual general meeting that in 2014 ‘payments totalling £4,500’ had been made by the then outgoing president to himself.
However this turned out to be the tip of the iceberg, the club’s new president Simon Chapman said in the letter: ‘I am sorry to now report, that [he] has admitted that over a period of 10 years he has stolen substantially all the money, estimated to be in excess of £100,000, that was supposedly in the NS&I account and has forged the passbook.’
Mr Chapman told PBO: ‘At the moment because we’re dealing with lawyers and police, we’re not in a position to comment.’
He added: ‘It’s a frustration but the good thing is the club is in great health and we have fantastic support from our members. We will get through this. It’s just disappointing.’
No arrests have been made at this stage.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘We’re investigating allegations of fraud and theft relating to the Chew Valley Sailing Club.
‘We are currently working with the club and our enquiries are continuing.
‘Anyone who may have information is asked to contact us now on 101 and quote crime reference number 5215029218.’
Story by Laura Hodgetts at PBO