Seneca man accused of stealing from elementary team

Staff writer

A Seneca man is facing charges after he allegedly stole more than $3,000 from the Oil City Lil Drillers elementary football team during his time as the organization’s vice president.

A criminal complaint filed through district judge Andrew Fish’s office said Brad Chapel, 43, removed $3,047.69 from a bank account belonging to the football team between Feb. 9, 2015, and Nov. 16, 2016.

On Nov. 4, Chapel spoke with Oil City police and admitted that in the early part of April 2016, he took control over the team’s checking account from his ex-wife in order to conduct business on behalf of the organization, the complaint said.

Chapel told police he made some unauthorized transactions from the account and related they were “accidental” or “mistakenly” made purchases, the complaint said.

In another police interview on Feb. 4, Chapel said he wouldn’t deny he made personal charges to the account, but he said it was not in the amount alleged by the football team, the complaint said.

Chapel is facing two felony counts of access device fraud and a felony count of theft by unlawful taking, in addition to two misdemeanor counts of misapplication of entrusted property and a misdemeanor count of theft by unlawful taking.

He was arraigned before Fish and released on $3,500 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 21 in Central Court.