You Ask. We Investigate.
Diversity Youth Sports playing fast and loose with parents' accounts
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Parents across the Valley say a youth sports league is playing fast and loose with their bank accounts.
It's a story Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears broke a little over a week ago.
Since then, we've received several more emails from concerned parents.
In this You Ask. We Investigate. update, Darcy tracked the company down and gets legal threats and a series of changing explanations.
Quinton and Hana Starkey keep cool in the playground while mom Nikole fumes over what happened with Diversity Youth Sports.
"What makes me the most angry is that they're using kids' sports as a front to steal from people."
Nikole Starkey says that because of what's been happening with her bank account since the spring season her kids played with DYS ended.
"I had three $25 charges end of June beginning of July and this week I have had five $95 as well."
"Within the last week, I believe they've hit my credit card between 4-5 times for $95 a pop," adds Heather Castellano.
Both women's husbands coached DYS teams. Nikole was team mom. And both women say new charges were attempted by DYS even after they canceled their cards.
"One of the reasons we went with them was because they're cheaper than some of the other facilities out there," Heather explains. "And the parents that are signing up for these things aren't in a position to be able to have $400 or $500 missing from their account and have to dispute it and not need that for their families. So it really is a crime that they're victimizing families."
Their families and those we spoke to in our first report have been unable to reach anyone from DYS.
Their website claims they'll re-open September 3, but for now, phone calls go unanswered, emails bounce back and we've learned they were evicted from their office on Decatur and Sahara.
Every day since our first story aired, we've been hearing from new parents... More than 40 people who have the same story as Sheryl Cinelli, Angel Stoker, Nikole Starkey and Heather Castellano.
We've even heard from families in Southern California who say the same thing is happening there.
Parents dealt with several people at DYS in the spring season, including David Lee. When no one responded to our phone calls or emails, we tracked Lee down at his Summerlin home.
Darcy Hi, are you David Lee?
Darcy: David, I'm Darcy Spears from channel 13. I'm doing a story on Diversity Youth Sports and your name comes up in context with that. Are you still dealing with that group?
Darcy: Did you used to be the president or why are we coming up with your name?
David: I have no comment at this time.
Darcy: You have no comment but you're not involved? There's a lot of people who say DYS is ripping them off.
He shut the door in our face without answering.
The very next day, we got an unsigned email from DYS telling us all their staff are "volunteers and should not be bothered at their homes or places of employment."
They threaten to sue us, saying the customers who contacted us were incorrect. But they didn't explain why.
So we asked for details and they sent a second email, saying the two parents we interviewed in our first story signed up for an auto-renewal program. But both moms say that's hogwash.
And we confirmed there is no auto-renewal option on DYS's registration form--the same form Nikole and Heather signed for their kids.
Darcy: And there wasn't any one-time payment or auto-renewal option?
Both: No. Absolutely not.
Heather: I would like to see them produce something that says that.
We sent them another email with more questions, and just this afternoon they sent another unsigned response with yet another explanation for what's going on.
It says "DYS does not store and maintain records of credit card numbers" and the unauthorized charges were not processed or authorized by DYS.
They believe one of their three merchant service providers "may be at fault" for putting charges through under DYS' name.
They say "DYS is not receiving any of the charge transactions and whatever company is doing it has also taken money from our foundation's account."
They apologize and urge customers to contact their banks for refunds, because the charges don't show up in DYS' system.
They say they're making changes to make up for what's happened.
Nikole and Heather remain skeptical because of what they say happened at their first team meeting in the Spring.
"At that point I didn't think it was odd," Nikole recalls, "They had said their credit machines were broken, so they did take our credit card numbers down manually."
On top of the unauthorized charges, Heather says they paid for team pictures they never got and an end of season party that never happened.
"We'll check a lot better next time and make sure that we're dealing with a reputable company. They were new. We thought we'd try it. Never thought in a million years that something like this would happen."
We finally managed to track down someone from DYS who didn't close a door in our face. The league's regional director spoke to us on camera.
This investigation continues as he shares both answers and more questions with us tomorrow on Action News at 5.
Just like us, parents want accountability, and some have already filed police reports. But Metro says they need to hear from more of you who believe you've been the victims of credit card fraud.
First file a complaint with your bank, then contact police.
Those who've contacted the Attorney General say they've been re-routed to the Federal Trade Commission. And some parents have even contacted the FBI.
If you're a parent who's dealt with Diversity Youth Sports, we want to hear from you.
Send us an email at email@example.com as we continue looking into this developing story.