New Jersey softball coach sentenced for illegally using team funds on himself
The now former coach of a travel softball team in Monmouth County was charged and has now been sentenced for allegedly misappropriating funds given to him by parents for team expenses that he used for personal expenses.
Michael Lane, 54, of Neptune Township had his chance to avoid all of the charges, sentencing and more if he paid back all the money he allegedly misused meant for the Monmouth Surf travel softball team.
He stands accused of collecting money from players for travel expenses and tournament expenses while he was the coach but then the parents of the players on the team found out on July 3, 2019, that he, by his own admission, misused the funds and that the money they gave him was dried up.
Lane then told the parents he would pay them back but the players would have their participation cancelled, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
The money was never given back to the parents.
When it wasn't, the parents took action and reported the misappropriation of funds to Tinton Falls Police, who along with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said that they found out Lane cashed the checks he got from parents for personal expenses for himself and his family instead of using the money for what it was meant for -- team expenses on behalf of the players.
Lane was charged and plead guilty on April 4, 2022 to third-degree Theft by Failure to Make Lawful Disposition of Property.
This week, Lane was sentenced to five years of probation and was also ordered by a judge to pay $12,000.00 in restitution which will be proportioned to the ten families whose daughters played on the team, according to the MCPO.
Acting Prosecutor Santiago said that this case was assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Aifer and that Lane was represented by Robert A. Honecker, Esq. of Ocean Township.