A Bethlehem man pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing $36,000 from the North Central Little League to support his drug habit, according to a published report.
Christopher E. Dollak, 32, of 932 Evans St., pleaded guilty to felony theft, while prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of receiving stolen property, according to The Express Times.
Dollak’s attorney told Northampton County Judge Leonard Zito that his client has put together a few thousand dollars to begin making restitution to the Little League, the newspaper reported. Sentencing will come at a later date.
According to court records, Dollak was motivated by an escalating drug habit and opportunity. His wife, Amy, was treasurer of the league and would frequently bring cash from dues payments and other sales home to deposit in the bank the next day.
Beginning in the early part of 2012, Dollak began to go into the deposit bag and remove money to support his drug addiction, police said. At the beginning, he would try to replace the money he had taken, but “as time progressed and his addiction grew, he was unable to return the money to the deposit bag,” police wrote in an affidavit of probable cause for Dollak’s arrest.
League officials decided to conduct an internal audit after getting complaints from unpaid vendors and noticing that there were inconsistencies in Amy Dollak’s monthly financial reports. That audit led to the discovery that $36,000 was missing, league officials said at the time.
Amy Dollak, who was never charged with a crime, cooperated in the police investigation, according to court records.
The North Central Little League is based in the city and accepts boys and girls ages 5 through 16. Its home field is on Memorial Avenue near the Bernie Fritz Memorial Playground.