2013-02-08 / Front Page

Not guilty plea entered in embezzlement case

By Darleen Principe

A longtime volunteer with the Moorpark Little League pleaded not guilty to felony embezzlement during his court arraignment in Ventura on Monday.

William Scott Zulager, 41, allegedly embezzled more than $950 from the children’s baseball league during the 2012 season, according to authorities.

Zulager has served as a volunteer coach and manager of the youth league at different times in the past several years.

He was the auxiliary vice president for the league’s board of directors at the time of the alleged embezzlement, said Chris Huerth, current league president.

Because of his position in the organization, Zulager held a league credit card, which is normally used for purchasing sports equipment or snack bar items and for other routine expenses, Huerth told the Moorpark Acorn in January.

During a review of the league’s accounting books last summer, board members found irregular transactions, prompting them to begin an investigation.

The board turned over the data to the Moorpark Police Department in September 2012.

Although Zulager originally accepted a citation for misdemeanor petty theft, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office later upgraded the charge to grand theft embezzlement, a felony.

The former coach remains free on his own recognizance, but he has been ordered by the court to stay away from the Moorpark Little League baseball fields on Park Lane.

Other involvement

Despite the ongoing case, Zulager is currently an active board member for the Moorpark Girls Softball League, which operates separately from the little league. Some MGS parents have expressed concern about his continuing involvement.

But George Estrella, MGS board president, said the governing board is fully aware of Zulager’s case.

“The position that we as a board have taken is that he has been accused of something and that he is innocent until proven guilty,” Estrella said. “The problems he is facing are of a financial nature. He has never been involved with anything financial with our league, so we will hold our position. “If (he is convicted) during the season here and that changes, we have things in place to deal with that.”

Besides coaching the softball league’s 10U division, Zulager is also in charge of scheduling games and umpires.

According to Ventura County Superior Court records, the defendant is due back in court for a disposition conference April 10.

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