Probation sentence ordered in UP hockey fraud case

BRICE BURGE

MARQUETTE — Brice Edward Burge, former general manager of the nonprofit hockey organization the Marquette Mutineers, was sentenced to 12 months probation on a delayed sentence in the 96th District Court.

Burge was ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution, as well as $5,355 in supplemental sentencing. He was also ordered to complete 12 hours of community service.

Burge, 29, of Gwinn had initially been charged with embezzlement in the amount of $1,000-$20,000 and stealing/retaining a financial transaction device without consent.

On Dec. 4, Burge entered a plea deal, pleading no contest to the charge of using a financial transaction device to fraudulently withdraw funds.

The embezzlement charge was dropped in the plea deal, with the charge of stealing/retaining a financial transaction device without consent reduced to the use of a financial transaction device to fraudulently withdraw funds, more than $200, less than $1,000.

Burge had been arrested on April 1 on a two-count felony warrant for embezzlement of $1,000 to $20,000 from a nonprofit or charitable organization and for stealing/retaining a financial transaction device without consent, according to a press release from the Marquette Police Department.

The charges were in relation to Burge’s position with the Marquette Muntineers hockey team.

Officials had previously noted that Burge admitted to charging over $3,000 in unauthorized expenses to the Marquette Mutineers debit card, although the team’s board members said the amount exceeded $5,000.

Gary Enright, chairman of the team’s board, had testified that Burge understood he would be paid $1,000 at the end of the season. Burge had alleged that he hadn’t known of the compensation amount and told police that he thought the amount he spent on the debit card would be reconciled at the end of the season with his compensation. However, team officials previously said Burge had admitted to mishandling team money when confronted about the matter.

Cecilia Brown can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. Her email address is cbrown@miningjournal.net.

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