2 former officials of N.J. Little League World Series contender admit stealing organization money

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Two former high-ranking officials with a New Jersey youth baseball league whose all-star team played in the Little League World Series two years ago have admitted stealing league funds.

Anthony Del Vecchio, 64, who was president of the Holbrook Little League in Jackson, and former league treasurer John Lehmann, 56, pleaded guilty Monday to third-degree theft by unlawful taking as part of a plea deal with Ocean County prosecutors.

They will recommend that both men receive probation sentences as long as they each pay $63,085 in restitution by their sentencing dates.

“If they don’t come up with the restitution in full, we will be seeking a custodial sentence,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said in a statement. “This plea agreement was extended with the advice and consent of the Holbrook Little League Executive Board.”

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The pair were charged following an investigation that started in December 2017 after county authorities received an anonymous letter detailing the alleged theft of league funds. They were indicted in March for theft by unlawful taking by taking monies in excess of $75,000.

Prosecutors had alleged that the duo converted $118,000 in league funds to their benefit between 2014 and 2018. The men were the only signatories on the account and both signatures were required on all checks, authorities said.

Asbury Park Press previously investigated the slow reimbursement of the league’s parents’ expenditures on the road to the World Series. Read the extensive investigation here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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