2 leaders of New Jersey's Little League World Series contender arrested

The Mid-Atlantic region team from Jackson, N.J., participates in the opening ceremony of the 2017 Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Mid-Atlantic region team from Jackson, N.J., participates in the opening ceremony of the 2017 Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Two officials of a world-famous New Jersey Little League organization are facing theft and conspiracy charges in connection with the theft of funds from the organization.

Holbrook Little League president Anthony M. Del Vecchio, 63, and treasurer John M. Lehmann, 55, both of Jackson Township, were arrested and charged Friday by the Ocean County prosecutor’s office with second-degree theft and conspiracy to commit theft for the misappropriation of league finances, authorities said.

Based in Jackson Township, the league went on a miracle run to the Little League World Series last summer.

The arrests stem from an investigation that began last December after county detectives received an anonymous letter claiming funds had been stolen from the league, according to the prosecutor’s office.

County detectives conducted an extensive review of the Holbrook Little League’s finances from 2014 to 2018 with the full cooperation of the league executive board members, authorities said.

The board raised concerns about the league’s funds after finding discrepancies in its accounts, according to prosecutors.

The investigation revealed that Del Vecchio and Lehmann, the sole signatories on the league bank accounts, had converted more than $118,000 of Holbrook Little League funds to their benefit, authorities said.

Detectives also said Lehmann was the sole debit cardholder on the league account and had misused the card in excess of $500.

Last fall, the Asbury Park Press opened an investigation into the slow reimbursement of the league’s parents’ expenditures on the road to the World Series. Read the extensive investigation here.

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