ST. CLOUD -- The mayor of Richmond has agreed to a plea agreement that convicts him of illegally directing meat raffle profits intended for the Little League Fund into the adult amateur baseball account.

James "Jim" Hemmesch was originally charged with a felony count of Gambling-Unlawful Expenditures of more than $2,500, but the agreement will reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and allow Hemmesch to avoid any jail or prison time.

An investigation into the theft of funds from the Richmond amateur baseball team by former manager Scott Kron led to the charges against Hemmesch.

Court records show Hemmesch directed meat raffle profits from the Richmond Fireman’s Relief Association to be deposited into the Richmond Little League Fund. That’s a lawful donation of gambling profits. However, the complaint indicated he conspired with the gambling manager and then-team manager Kron to have some of the funds deposited from the Little League account into the adult baseball team account. That is not allowed by law.

Records show Hemmesch called a state compliance agent who was looking into the thefts by Kron and asked about funds given to the adult baseball club via the Little League account. Hemmesch went on to state he was aware the Fireman’s Relief Fund could not give money to the adult team.

The total receipts to the Richmond Royals in a one-year period between 2013 and 2014 totaled more than $9,500 to the adult team.

A Stearns County judge stayed a 90-day sentence and placed Hemmesch on probation for a year. He must perform 80 hours of community service and pay $200 of a $1,000 fine.

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