A youth soccer club has filed a lawsuit against its former executive director claiming she embezzled money and stole trade secrets.
The former director of the Bend FC Timbers says she will defend herself in court and in the community against the allegations.
The lawsuit was filed last week in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
The plaintiff, Bend FC Timbers soccer club, alleges its former executive director Tara Bilanski directed unauthorized payments of club money to herself.
Bilanski, who has since moved on and started a new soccer club, says the allegations are baseless.
The Bend FC Timbers, which has about 3,000 soccer players and practices and plays on fields at the Bend Pine Nursery, claims that former executive director Tara Bilanski misrepresented her authority to take $80,000 in bonuses for overseeing summer soccer camps.
Attorney William Buchanan responded to our request for comment on behalf of FC Timbers in an email that reads:
“Recent staff changes reflect the Bend Timbers’ number one priority, which is to develop young soccer players into better citizens both on the field and off. The Timbers’ approach to the lawsuit filed last week mirrors that priority. Our position set forth in the complaint and any further comment will be addressed to the court as appropriate.”
Bilansky wrote in a letter to the Oregon Youth Soccer Association that the lawsuit is baseless.
She says it appears to be part of a public relations stunt and disinformation campaign to smear her reputation and undermine her new club, Apex FC.
“I did not embezzle money. I’ve put on soccer camps since I got here in 2014… started those camps. All of those camps were approved by the board of directors and in the budget every year,” Bilanski said.
A former treasurer of the Bend FC Timbers says the previous board of directors was aware and approved of how the summer soccer camps were run and how Bilanski was compensated.
The former treasurer says the new board is making uninformed decisions about finances and wasting money on a lawsuit.
Bilanski was fired from Bend FC Timbers in August.
The soccer club is seeking $380,000 dollars from Bilanski for funds they allege she embezzled, potential damage to the club’s non-profit status and for taking Timbers’ trade secrets.