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BBB joins quest for answers from Diversity Youth Sports

BBB joins quest for answers from Diversity Youth Sports

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Aug 3, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Contact 13 is no longer the only entity investigating Diversity Youth Sports.

The league that's been taking money from parents bank accounts without permission is now in the cross-hairs of the Better Business Bureau.

Together with Chief Investigator Darcy Spears, they're committed to getting the truth.

"We've launched our investigation," says George Cartwright, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Nevada.  "We're going to do everything we can to help get to the bottom of this and get people the answers they need."

Dozens of families in two states are demanding answers from Diversity Youth Sports after the league made unauthorized withdrawals from parents bank accounts, sometimes for hundreds of dollars, long after their sports season ended.

"It's very frustrating, especially since we're trying to do something for our child."

Angel Stoker is one of the first parents who asked us to investigate DYS. She didn't waste a second alerting everyone she could about what was going on.

"Filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, complaint with the police department in the fraud division."

Police can't do much for people whose banks refund their money. When that happens, the banks becomes the victim.

But the Better Business Bureau is doing their part.

Darcy Spears: Can you help ensure there is accountability for these people?
George Cartwright: Well, we don't have law enforcement power, so to speak, but we work closely with the local police so what we do is provide as much information as we can.

In our quest for information and answers from DYS, all we've gotten are unsigned emails... Each with a different explanation for what's going on.

Darcy: First they threaten to sue us.  Then they blame the consumer.  Then they blamed an unnamed, third-party credit card processor.
George: That's what I'm hearing as well, yeah.  And we're gonna do everything we can to find out what's true versus what's not true and react accordingly.

DYS is sticking to the credit card processor being the root of the problem, but that doesn't explain other issues parents, like Heather Castellano and Nikole Starkey, have had.

Heather: We never got our team pictures either.
Darcy: Something else you paid for but never got?
Both: Correct. Yeah.

Parents also funded an end of season party in the Spring.

Nikole: We got an email like two days before saying that it was gonna be too hot and they were gonna donate the money to charity.
Darcy They took your money for this party that never happened?
Both: Right.

So far, DYS hasn't answered our questions about those issues.

And Angel Stoker isn't satisfied with the answers they have given to the BBB. She's skeptical because of how many times DYS has changed its story. She wrote to the bureau that based on the significant number of people who've had unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts, "I want to make sure this business does not scam anybody else."

Based on DYS's actions, she's not the only one who's skeptical.

Darcy: Do you think that these guys are just out and out crooks?
Both:  Yes. Absolutely.
Heather: I think that if they were willing to give restitution or if it was a computer glitch or any of the millions of things that they could come up with, I think that they would be making more of an effort to allow us to get in contact with them, to return phone calls.

Partly because of that lack of response to parents, the BBB has taken away DYS's "A-" rating--something the league was touting as evidence that they're on the up and up.

"But because of what we're seeing right now, the grade has been taken off," Cartwright says.  "They have a "No rating" right now as we kind of go through and give everybody the benefit of the doubt and try to figure this out."

Cartwright says the BBB has received an unusually high level of complaints against DYS. But Cartwright says that's not the only reason they're investigating.

"They are not an accredited business and they are using our logo so that's something we need to address."

The BBB logo is all over DYS's website and paperwork, which is only allowed for accredited businesses.

Darcy: So you'll see if where there's smoke there's fire, the authorities are going to know about the fire.
George: Absolutely, absolutely.

Contact 13's investigation has also revealed that DYS has been benched by the City, County and School District, because they don't have permission to play on any of those fields.  In fact, CCSD has demanded that DYS remove any reference to school district fields from their website. 

Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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Darcy Spears is currently the Chief Investigative Reporter for Action News.