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Gottlieb Charged in Credit Card Theft

Jurisprudence: Former Tustin High and Notre Dame basketball player faces up to three years in prison and $10,000 fine if convicted.

September 13, 1996|CHRIS FOSTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Doug Gottlieb, a former Notre Dame and Tustin High School basketball player, has been charged with felony theft for allegedly using stolen credit cards to purchase nearly $1,000 of merchandise, St. Joseph County (Ind.) prosecutor Mike Barnes said.

Gottlieb will surrender voluntarily Monday in Indiana and make a court appearance Tuesday, according to Barnes. Barnes said no warrant has been issued at this time and bail was set at $5,000 bond or $500 cash. Gottlieb faces a possible three-year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.

"We reviewed the evidence and filed what we believe is the appropriate charge," Barnes said. "There could be a wide range of penalties. It can be treated as a misdemeanor at sentencing if it's deemed appropriate at that time."

Bob Gottlieb, Doug's father, said the incident stemmed from pressure Gottlieb was experiencing at school. Gottlieb will attend counseling sessions, Bob said.

"Unfortunately Doug made a serious mistake in judgment and he realizes it," Gottlieb said. "He has sent checks for restitution and called each of the kids involved to apologize.

"He was in a very difficult situation in South Bend and we thought he was handling it well, but apparently he was internalizing his emotions and feelings and it built up."

Gottlieb, who left Notre Dame in June, allegedly stole credit cards from three students who lived on the same dormitory floor. He purchased about $950 in merchandise from a sporting goods and jewelry store and bought dinner and gas with the cards.

The three students reported the thefts to a Notre Dame official after receiving bills. The matter was turned over to the South Bend police.

Gottlieb played in 27 games, starting 23, as a freshman. He averaged 4.6 points and led the team with 154 assists. He has enrolled at Golden West College, but said he will not play basketball this year.

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