YAKIMA, Wash. — The former president of a Grandview youth swim program and his wife, accused of embezzling from the team, pleaded guilty Monday in Yakima County Superior Court.
Paul and Yvonne Renee VanPelt were charged in December with first-degree theft after Grandview investigators accused them of using more than $8,000 of Grandview Neptunes swim team funds for personal purchases at places such as Wal-Mart, Hotels.com and Victoria’s Secret.
Yvonne Renee VanPelt, 41, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft, a Class C felony, and was sentenced to 10 days of electronic home monitoring, also known as home detention.
Paul VanPelt, 36, pleaded guilty to third-degree theft, a gross misdemeanor. He, too, was sentenced to 10 days of electronic home monitoring.
Deputy prosecutor Quentin Bowman said the plea deal took into account weaker evidence proving Paul VanPelt knew his wife was embezzling funds from the team.
As for Mrs. VanPelt’s plea, he said in this case there was little practical difference under state sentencing guidelines between first- and second-degree theft.
Mrs. VanPelt had a felony theft conviction in the late 1980s, but it was considered a “washout” in the criminal justice system because it was too old to count under state guidelines, Bowman said.
Overall, he defended the resolution as reasonable, saying the plea deal saved the public the expense of a trial while taking into account the fact that the VanPelts were trying to make amends even before they were charged.
“It doesn’t undo what they had done ... (but) it is a factor,” Bowman said.
Both Paul and Yvonne Renee VanPelt declined to comment at the advice of their attorneys.
• Yakima Herald-Republic reporter Chris Bristol contributed to this report.