FREEHOLD - The onetime volunteer treasurer of the Freehold Soccer League faces up to six years in prison for pocketing more than $400,000 belonging to the organization over a four-year span.

Prison cell block

Anthony Gallo, 57, of Freehold Township, pleaded guilty to a second-degree theft charge Monday, according to the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni. Terms of his plea deal required him to pay $280,000 restitution when he returns for sentencing, scheduled for January 19, 2018.

Gallo's admission of theft between 2012 and 2016 sprang from an investigation that began in March, when the league president contacted county investigators. The official learned of unpaid bills due a uniform supplier, and found funds missing from league bank accounts, authorities said.

Gallo told the court that he dipped into the league's operating account, writing more than $300,000 in checks for himself, for cash, and for his company, Beacon Financial Services. He also admitted unauthorized withdrawals from league accounts through automated teller machines to pay personal expenses.

Authorities said that Gallo repaid more than $119,00 before being charged, in an effort to avoid detection.

Monmouth County's case is assigned to Assistant Prosecuro Lawrence Nelson. Gallo's attorney is Tara Breslow of Red Bank.

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