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The foundation behind Pennsylvania's most storied high school football all-star game is under scrutiny after an investigation by the state's attorney general.

In its findings, the AG's office alleges the Big 33 Scholarship Foundation used $268,810 of scholarship funds to pay off the organization's debt in 2008. Improper use of scholarship funds is a violation of the Nonprofit Corporation Law and the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, according to court documents.

In March, Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office filed an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, which is below the level of a lawsuit. The Big 33 denied the allegations, court documents state, but has agreed to reimburse the scholarship endowment.

Big 33 executive director Dave Trimbur said Wednesday that no scholarship recipients after 2007 were affected. Three student-athletes from York and Adams counties who were awarded scholarships the last two years said this week that they did receive the funds.

Trimbur took over as Big 33 executive director in 2009 and said he was aware at the time the organization required budget cuts, but "not to the level that it was."

"You can't change what somebody did in the past," Trimbur said. "We want to make sure going forward nothing is repeated."

According to a June 15 statement from the Big 33, it identified concerns with its administrative operations in 2007. One of the changes the foundation earmarked was hiring a new executive director. The organization did that in 2007 by appointing John Greene, but Greene resigned in February 2009. Trimbur, who also serves as executive director for the Panther Foundation at Central York, took the reins.

During Trimbur's tenure, the Big 33 cut its golf tournament and banquet.

"It was costing us money instead of going where it needed," Trimbur said.

To settle its dispute with the attorney general, the Big 33 Scholarship Foundation must pay back at least $5,000 or 20 percent of revenue per year to its scholarship endowment until the $268,810 is restored. Such a process could take about 50 years. After that, scholarships will be paid out of income only, with any principal being reinvested to fund future scholarships.

The foundation must also maintain financial books and meeting minutes for access by the attorney general by request. Documents allege the Big 33 mistook scholarship donations as "board-designated" funds and failed to maintain accurate financial records.

Also, the Big 33 must pay the AG's office $15,043 for investigation costs and attorney's fees.

If term agreements aren't met, the foundation could be dissolved, the report states.

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