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Ex-O.C. cop guilty of stealing from charity football league

December 19, 2012 |  4:05 pm

A former La Habra police officer has been convicted of stealing more than $60,000 from a charitable first responders' football league that raised money for scholarships, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Kirk Robert Lotzgesell, 33, pleaded guilty to one felony count of grant theft. He is expected to be sentenced in January to up to one year in jail and ordered to pay restitution, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Lotzgesell, who was an officer with the La Habra Police Department until January 2006, volunteered as treasurer of the Orange County Cop Bowl Assn., a league of police officers and firefighters who play football to raise money for scholarships. The organization has raised more than $1 million for charity.

Prosecutors said that Lotzgesell, as treasurer, had access to the organization's finances and had responsibility over accounting and check writing.

Prosecutors said he used his position to steal money by writing checks to himself and making withdrawals from ATMs, using the money for personal expenses and bills.

The organization began reviewing its finances and discovered the theft after the Internal Revenue Service notified them regarding a failure to file tax returns. The case was investigated by the Brea Police Department.

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-- Rick Rojas
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