TINTON FALLS — A man who coached a youth travel softball team for six years before informing players' families he misused money they paid for tournament entries and traveling costs was sentenced last week to five years' probation, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday.

In addition, Michael Lane, 54, of Neptune Township must pay $12,000 in restitution to be split among 10 families whose daughters played on the Monmouth Surf, which Lane coached from 2013 until at least his July 2019 disclosure of using the funds for personal expenses for himself and his family.

At that time, prosecutors said, Lane told the families their money would be returned to them, but the players' participation on the squad would have to be canceled.

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When the families subsequently did not receive the money owed them, they reported Lane to law enforcement, prompting an investigation by the Tinton Falls Police Department and Monmouth County prosecutors.

Lane pleaded guilty in April to third-degree theft by failure to make lawful disposition of property.

It was unclear whether the $12,000 restitution amount represented the full total Lane had taken from the players and their families.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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