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Gottlieb a Target of Fraud Probe

Jurisprudence: Former Tustin High and Notre Dame player accused of purchasing items with stolen credit cards.

August 30, 1996|CHRIS FOSTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Doug Gottlieb, former Notre Dame and Tustin High School basketball player, could be charged with using stolen credit cards to buy almost $1,000 worth of merchandise in St. Joseph County, Ind.

County prosecutor Mike Barnes told the South Bend Tribune on Thursday that he would make a decision early next week on whether charges would be filed.

Three Notre Dame students claimed Thursday that Gottlieb, who left school in June after his freshman year, made the charges with credit cards he allegedly had stolen from their dorm rooms.

According to Pat Johnson, one of the three students, charges were filed with the campus police. But the matter was turned over to the South Bend police after Gottlieb left school, Johnson said. South Bend police would not comment Thursday.

Jane Gottlieb, Doug's mother, said the family has hired a South Bend lawyer but declined to comment further. Doug Gottlieb also declined to comment Thursday.

Scott Thomas and Johnson said their credit cards were used to buy $450 worth of merchandise at a sporting goods store. Joe Hand said he had bills totaling $500 from a jewelry store, a restaurant and a gas station.

Dennis Moore, a Notre Dame spokesman, and Coach John MacLeod said they were not allowed to comment on matters regarding student discipline.

Thomas said Gottlieb asked to use his computer last April. A month later, Thomas received a bill for clothes purchased at a local sporting goods store.

"I called my dorm rector and he called campus police," Thomas said. "They went to the store, which had a video showing Doug using my card. That's when I found out there were two other students involved."

Johnson said his credit card company is holding him responsible for the charges. He also said his mother was contacted by Gottlieb's father, who told her he was attempting to make restitution with the stores.

Thomas said Doug Gottlieb called him during the summer to apologize.

"He was just begging me not to press charges," Thomas, of Hamburg, N.J., told the Associated Press. "It was kind of uncomfortable, obviously. I didn't really know what to say."

Gottlieb, The Times Orange County player of the year in 1995, played in all 27 games for the Fighting Irish last season as a freshman. He started 23, averaging 4.6 points and leading the team with 154 assists.

Gottlieb said he left Notre Dame because he was homesick, but MacLeod told the South Bend Tribune the allegations also played a part in the decision.

Gottlieb has not said where he will continue his basketball career. He has enrolled at Golden West College.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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