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Former youth hockey president charged with embezzling

A Medford woman who at one point served as the president of a local youth hockey organization faces a string of felony charges accusing her of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the nonprofit.

Cara Jane Ruettgers, 43, was charged Wednesday by a grand jury with felony counts of forgery, identity theft and aggravated first-degree theft on accusations she stole about $57,000 from the Rogue Valley Youth Hockey Association during her years on the board of directors, according to a release issued by Medford police.

Between 2016 and 2019, Ruettgers served the nonprofit’s board in a variety of capacities including treasurer and president, according to police.

Other board members reportedly alerted police of missing funds starting in January of this year, according to the release, prompting a monthslong investigation involving Medford police and the Oregon Dept. of Justice.

The Dept. of Justice performed a forensic accounting of the nonprofit’s books, finding about $57,000 missing.

Medford police originally arrested Ruettgers Nov. 8 on a single felony charge of aggravated first-degree theft. Jackson County Jail records show that Ruettgers was released later that day after posting bail.

A grand jury on Wednesday added three more counts of aggravated theft, along with charges of identity theft, forgery and misdemeanor second-degree theft, according to Medford police.

The charges will be forwarded to the Jackson County District Attorney’s office, but as of Wednesday evening, Ruettgers’ charges had not yet been filed in Jackson County Circuit Court. Records show no prior criminal history for Ruettgers.

Cara Jane Ruettgers, 43, faces felony aggravated theft and forgery charges accusing her of taking roughly $57,000{ }from the Rogue Valley Youth Hockey Association. Medford police photo.