Former Fullerton youth soccer club treasurer accused of embezzling $175,000

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- Fullerton police detectives arrested a former treasurer of a youth soccer club in Fullerton on several charges, including embezzling nearly $175,000 in funds.

Laura Zellerbach, of Long Beach, was arrested around 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday in Lakewood following an extensive investigation that stemmed from a crime report received from the Fullerton Rangers Youth Soccer Club in May 2015.

The club alleged the 41-year-old embezzled more than $30,000 during her time as treasurer from 2012 to 2014.

Zellerbach volunteered as treasurer for the group, and board members contacted the authorities in May when they noticed suspicious activity.

Prosecutors allege that she spent some of the money on a European vacation for her children. She is also accused of moving money from the soccer club's accounts into her personal accounts and then loaning money to her business.

Zellerbach resigned after board members began questioning her about her activities.

After the investigation, Fullerton police detectives of the crimes property unit obtained an arrest warrant of $250,000 for Zellerbach charging money laundering, forgery of records, grand theft and more, along with 23 felony counts of attempted computer access and fraud.

The charges come as the city investigates whether Rangers officials used the clubs' nonprofit status to get reduced rates and access to the city's fields for an academy tied to a for-profit company. City officials said they have asked the club directors for documentation.

She was scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning.

If convicted, Zellerbach faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and eight months in state prison.
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