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DAVIDSON, N.C. -- A sponsor of a motorcycle rally in Iredell County has backed out due to concerns about the event organizer and his prior run-in with the law.

Tom Stanford of Davidson runs the North Carolina Motorcycle Rally Association, which is hosting the Spring Rally at Fiddler s Grove April 12-15 in Union Grove. Hundreds of bikers are expected to camp, eat, drink and listen to music. They have to pay to enter the camp and pay to hook up to water and electricity.

Last year, while a member of the Strength and Honor Motorcycle Club, Stanford was charged with felony embezzlement.

Strength and Honor Motorcycle Club President Bo Bollinger said Stanford stole money from the club as well as $1,000 meant for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina after a charity ride. That money would have helped feed about 400 people, Bollinger said.

The club kicked Stanford out, saying he violated their code of conduct.

Bollinger says Stanford confessed to taking the money, but Stanford denies committing the crime.

In court, Stanford agreed to a plea deal for misdemeanor larceny. The deal included paying the club and Second Harvest back, plus performing community service. Stanford acknowledges paying the money and doing the community service and said his charge was dropped. He added what happened before is a done deal and bikers who come to the rally this weekend have no reason to worry where the money goes.

He told us the same thing and I mean we all know where that got us, Bollinger said.

Guardians of the Children, a charity dedicated to fighting child abuse and listed as a sponsor/benefactor on the rally website has backed out.

National President Tony Maupin said the group made their decision after speaking to riders in local chapters.

It's hard to trust anybody when you don't have a history with them. None of us had a history with him and now we find out he has a bad reputation. We can't afford to get involved in that, Maupin said.

Maupin also says he sent Stanford a letter demanding their removal from the website and listing as a sponsor. If Stanford doesn t comply, Maupin says he will take Stanford to court.

Stanford says he will remove them from the website and still plans to give them some of the money raised over the weekend.

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