HOWELL, N.J.—A Howell man is accused of embezzling $40,000 from one of the town’s softball leagues over a period of three years, according to the Howell Police Department.
Thomas Vilanova, the treasurer of the Howell Girls Softball League since 2012, was charged with third-degree theft and surrendered to police on April 27, Howell Police Sgt. Christian Antunez said.
In December, officials from the softball league noticed hundreds of unauthorized transactions totaling thousands that had been made by Vilanova, according to police.
Police found that Vilanova, 45, allegedly used the league’s debt card and checks to pay for home landscaping, utility bills, meals, transportation and personal car maintenance in multiple states, including New York and New Jersey.
Antunez said Vilanova also posted his own bail for a previous arrest using the league’s money. Vilanova was recently charged by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office for a crime unrelated to the league theft, he said.
It’s unclear whether the lost finances will have an impact on this year’s summer softball season. One league official, who didn’t give his or her name but replied to an email sent to the league, didn’t want to comment.
The league, established in 1996, offers summer softball teams for girls ages 5 through 17. There are about 500 girls who play every year.