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Attorney General continues to investigate Lynnfield Youth Football & Cheerleading nonprofit

Attorney General Maura Healey won a judge's ruling to seek additional bank records from Lynnfield Youth Football & Cheerleading Inc. as they probe the charity's finances. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

LYNNFIELD —  A Superior Court judge has ordered the Lynnfield Youth Football and Cheerleading Inc. (LYFC) to hand over more financial records to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

In her ruling, Judge Heidi Brieger, said investigators have  presented “good and sufficient” reasons for the nonprofit to provide bank records to see whether its charitable funds have been misused. The judge also authorized the AG’s office to take testimony, under oath, from the group’s officers.

Sources said the investigation began more than three years ago when parents with children in the program raised questions about the charity’s operation.

This is the second time a judge has requested records. In 2016, investigators sought and received the nonprofit’s Bank of America records whose signatories included Wayne Shaffer, president, former president Thomas Terranova, Jit Lee Billings, treasurer, and Stephen Berardino, a director and owner of State-Line Graphics, the Everett printing business that provides apparel for the program, according to court records.

The most recent request asked for additional records from the original four officers and previous board members including Kerrianne Allain, Thomas Bogart, and  Sylvie Terranova.

The court also ordered Berardino to provide more invoices and any documents reflecting transactions and account histories between LYFC and his printing firm.

The latest demands were issued as part of an investigation by Healey’s office into the potential misapplication of the charitable assets of LYFC, according to the court document.

LYFC’s tax records from 2017, the most recent data available from GuideStar, reports the charity had a balance of $21,156 on its 990 tax form at year’s end. The charity raised $374,001 from 2013 through 2017.

Both organizations have 21 days to produce the requested documents.

Berardino and Billings did not return calls seeking comment. The others could not be reached for comment.

Terrence W. Kennedy, a member of the Governor’s Council and a Lynnfield attorney who represents Berardino, said he has not received any recent requests from the AG’s office. He pledged to  continue to cooperate with investigators.  

A spokesman for Healey’s office would not comment on the case. 

In court documents, the AG’s Office said obstruction of an  investigation is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and being held in contempt.

 

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