CANTON — A former longtime treasurer of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club admitted Wednesday to stealing money from the group.

David M. Seffens, 72, pleaded guilty to aggravated theft, a third-degree felony. Stark County Common Pleas Judge Natalie Haupt accepted the plea but deferred sentencing until July 17 to allow the Probation Department to complete a presentence investigation.

Seffens, of Canton, faces between nine months and three years in prison. He also could be ordered to make restitution.

Authorities allege Seffens took $216,000 from the nonprofit organization from June 1, 2006 through 2018. He was the club’s treasurer for 23 years, through 2018, before he was replaced.

The presentence investigation report will provide background and information that might be helpful in determining a sentence.

Seffens appeared with attorney Bradley Iams, who declined to comment following the brief hearing. Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Vance also declined to comment because it remains a pending case.

Late last month, a county grand jury secretly indicted Seffens.

Although Luncheon Club members receive a one-year free admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the club is not directly affiliated with the Hall.

Nearly 60 years old, the club has more than 500 members. Meetings are Mondays at Tozzi’s on 12th from September through mid-May. Guests speakers, often former professional athletes or coaches, address the luncheon audiences.

This season’s featured speakers have included Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Anthony Muñoz and Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton. Past speakers have included Otto Graham and Franco Harris among many others.

Fred Scott, who heads the criminal division of the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office, said previously club officials contacted the office about six months ago to report financial irregularities. The Stark County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation. A forensic accountant from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted in the probe, Scott said.

 

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