A judge's gavel. Photo via Pixabay.
Photo via Pixabay.

A former president of a Garden Grove Little League pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling about $47,000 from the league and was immediately sentenced to six months in jail.

Brenda Renee Escarpe, 45, of Sahuarita, Arizona, pleaded guilty to seven felony counts of grand theft, according to court records.

Escarpe was given a month to explore various options such as home confinement or spending money to serve her time in a private jail, her attorney Michael Guisti said.

Escarpe paid about $29,000 in restitution, Guisti said.

The embezzlement from the Central Garden Grove Little League was first reported to police July 31, 2015, according to Garden Grove police Lt. Carl Whitney.

The league “nearly shut down” because of the thefts, Whitney said when she was arrested in May 2017.

The league managed to soldier on financially thanks to “generous support” from area civic organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, Whitney said.

Enrollment has been “dwindling” from about 300 to about 100 players, Whitney said.

“Parents lost trust in the board members and took their players to other leagues,” said league board member Rob Hovis. “The children of the league were hurt the most by this theft.”

–City News Service

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