A 41-year-old Long Beach mother was charged with embezzling more than $174,000 from the Fullerton youth soccer organization for which she served as treasurer, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
Laura Alicia Zellerbach faces up to 20 years, eight months in prison if convicted as charged.
She was treasurer of the Fullerton Rangers Youth Soccer Club from April 2013 to January 2015, when she resigned after other board members began to question her about the organization’s finances, the DA’s office stated.
She allegedly took funds from the club’s accounts and put them into her personal account, and then used the money as capital loans to the business she ran with her husband, Zellcorp Inc. dba Restaurant Packaging Group.
She withdrew more than $20,000 to partially pay for a European vacation for her children, the DA’s office said.
The club is a 50-year-old nonprofit run primarily by volunteers, according to its website. In the 2013-14 season, the club had more than 2,000 players.
The club has won national championships and is considered one of the top youth soccer organizations in the country.
Zellerbach was charged with one felony count of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, one felony count of attempting to falsify records, one felony count of money laundering, and 23 felony counts of attempted computer access and fraud.
She was arrested Wednesday in Lakewood by Fullerton police, and was due to be arraigned Friday morning in Fullerton.
A report about Zellerbach’s alleged actions was first made to Fullerton police in May 2015, the Police Department said Wednesday. Police said she had served as the club’s treasurer from 2012 to 2014.
Zellerbach had at least one child playing in the club while she was treasurer,the Orange County Register reported.
The club is separately under investigation by Fullerton city officials over whether at least 80 percent of its players are from the city, and whether it is improperly getting reduced fees to use city facilities, according to the newspaper.