FULLERTON (CBS/AP) — A former Southern California police officer has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $60,000 from a law enforcement football organization that raised money for youth scholarships.

Orange County prosecutors say 44-year-old Kirk Robert Lotzgesell entered the plea on Tuesday to a felony count of grand theft. He faces up to three years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.

City News Service says the ex-La Habra officer took the money from the Orange County Cop Bowl Association, which includes police officers who play football games against other law enforcement agencies and fire departments to raise money for student scholarships.

Lotzgesell, who was the unpaid treasurer for the association, embezzled the money by writing checks to himself and getting cash through automated teller machines.

A source close to the investigation said Lotzgesell changed his address and phone number, so that police could not find him. In February, investigators tracked his real estate license number, posing as buyers in Norwalk, where they took him into custody.

The former officer, 43, made headlines when he was shot in the line of duty in 2005.

RELATED STORY: Former Police Officer Arrested For Allegedly Stealing From Charity

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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