EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 16, 2013

Accused embezzler remains in Middle East

DA Blodgett's office working to get James Potenza back


“7,000 miles away, in the U.A.E. It really is a great experience,” Potenza posted on Nov. 8, 2012. “Just got back from the beach, 84 degrees,” he posted the following day.

On Aug. 5, in response to a query from a Facebook friend as to his whereabouts, Potenza wrote “the Middle East.”

On Aug. 2, he posted a picture of himself sitting on a military tank parked in the sun. In various Facebook posts, Potenza also indicates he’s staying in touch with family and friends.

It’s unclear if prosecutors are monitoring Potenza’s Facebook page. Blodgett’s spokeswoman, Carrie Kimball-Monahan, declined to comment on that but did say the office knows where Potenza is.

Also, it’s unclear if Potenza stays in touch with his defense attorney. Murphy could not be reached for comment for this story.

Previously, prosecutor Greg Friedholm said Potenza had sold a home he owned in Groveland on Aug. 28, 2012 — a sale that eliminated one of his ties to the area and provided him with a possible source of money. Potenza had also lived in Wakefield while the case was pending.

Using the League’s unauthorized debit card, Potenza allegedly made withdrawals on Cape Cod, where he owned a summer home.

He initially claimed he made the withdrawals to pay game officials and denied using the money for personal use. He also claimed family members may have also used the card.

But as Potenza was making withdrawals, back to 2006 and 2007, the youth football league, was struggling. League officials previously told a judge they had trouble purchasing new equipment and jerseys for the kids.

Prosecutors were seeking a jail term for Potenza, who did not want to serve time, instead offering to pay restitution if he received probation. But after those negotiations broke down, the case was scheduled for trial in October 2012.




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