A former La Habra police officer misrepresented himself as an active duty cop on medical leave when he was given a volunteer treasurer position with the Orange County Cop Bowl Association, a football charity from which Kirk Robert Lotzgesell allegedly stole $60,000, according to prosecutors.
The Winchester 43-year-old is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on a felony grand theft count that could punt him into prison for three years.
Lotzgesell left the La Habra force in January of 2006, but that's not what he told Cop Bowl officials the following year when volunteering for the charity, which since 1978 has raised more than $1 million through football games pitting teams of police officers and firefighters against one another, the Orange County District Attorney's office says.
He would accept a position that had him in control of all the Cop Bowl financial accounts and be responsible for bookkeeping and check writing. But, over the next two years, he stole more than $60,000 by writing checks to himself and withdrawing money from the charity's ATM account, then spent the money on himself, the OCDA charges.
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The thefts were discovered when other Cop Bowl officials took a harder look at their accounts. The Internal Revenue Service inquiring as to why the charity failed to file tax returns also rocked the Cop Bowl harder than a Ray Lewis hit. The Brea Police Department investigated, and Lotzgesell was arrested Thursday. He was held in lieu of $60,000 bail in anticipation of Monday morning's scheduled arraignment in Santa Ana.