Thief Anthony Webb admits clubs fraud

He was tasked with banking the hard-earned funds raised by volunteers through raffles, canteen sales and player registrations, but Anthony Webb pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing almost $100,000 from two Newcastle junior sporting clubs.

Webb, 48, was the treasurer of Western Suburbs Junior Cricket Club from 2009 to 2011 and the Western Suburbs Schoolboys Football Club last year, court documents tendered to Newcastle Local Court revealed.

Webb’s fraudulent activity came to the notice of the cricket club last year when a cheque bounced and an independent audit revealed that he stole about $60,000 from the rugby league club.

Webb, of Croudace Street, New Lambton Heights, was stood down from his positions with the two clubs while the thefts were investigated.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of fraudulent misappropriation and three counts of obtaining money by deception for his own use.

Court documents stated that Webb stole a total of $33,000 from the cricket club and $60,000 from the football club, but his lawyer, Scott Lewis, said he was negotiating with police about the final sum and that it was expected to be lower than the $93,000 total.

Webb intended to repay the money, Mr Lewis told magistrate Mark Buscombe.

Both clubs calculated their losses by adding all raffles, grants and other fund-raisers and then comparing those totals to the tens of thousands of dollars that Webb banked into the clubs’ accounts during those periods.

Police seized a number of club documents from Webb’s smash repair business while he volunteered other documents to investigators.

The case was adjourned for one week while his lawyer and police negotiate how much money is owed.

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