Ex-San Mateo cop charged with embezzling $100,000 from Little League
Ex-San Mateo cop charged with embezzling $100,000 from Little League

Fiona Kelliher
The Mercury News

A former San Mateo police officer allegedly embezzled more than $100,000 from a Peninsula Little League branch, using club funds to buy items ranging from an Apple watch to snorkel gear, prosecutors say.

Hayward resident Jeffrey Gueco Aspillera, 46, has been charged with six felonies for the scheme which allegedly took place over the three years that he served as volunteer treasurer for the Foster City Little League. Starting in August 2016, Aspillera was given a credit card to pay league expenses, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Using that card, he withdrew thousands of dollars from ATMs, made out checks to cash, transferred money to his PayPal and purchased items at Costco, Arco, golf and Halloween stores — including food, a television, an Apple watch and golf and snorkel gear.

When the league’s board reassigned roles in September 2019, Aspillera refused to give the new treasurer any records, prosecutors say. The new treasurer went to the bank and discovered that Aspillera had deposited member dues into his own account and failed to pay league insurance. The league reported him to police, who arrested him in July after a seven-month investigation.

Aspillera’s lawyer, Manisha Daryani, said in a brief phone call Wednesday that she could not comment on specific allegations but confirmed that her client’s case involved Foster City Little League.

In a July 15 letter to league members, president of the Foster City Little League David Saito wrote that the financial loss was so great it “put the 2020 season at risk” before board members and donors made up the difference.

“This is going to be a challenging time for the entire FCLL Community, but like everything else in 2020, we will get through this and be stronger for it,” Saito wrote.

Aspillera worked at the San Mateo Police Department between 2010 and late 2015, confirmed spokesperson Michael Haobsh. He was previously employed with the Oakland Police Department. Haobsh could not immediately provide more information about the nature of his duties while in San Mateo or the circumstances of his departure.

Aspillera was arraigned Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court and pleaded not guilty. He remains out of bail on a $75,000 bond on condition of being subject to search and seizure.

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