BALTIMORE, OCT. 22 -- A former officer of an Old Court Savings & Loan subsidiary pleaded guilty today to stealing $400,000 from the subsidiary. He was the seventh Old Court defendant convicted in Maryland's two-year investigation of the state's savings and loan crisis.

James L. Gay Jr., 43, of suburban Baltimore, entered the guilty plea before Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Edward J. Angeletti. He will be sentenced Jan. 11.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Angeletti is expected to order Gay jailed for three years and require him to make $557,015 in restitution to depositors of the now-defunct savings and loan firm. He also is expected to order Gay to perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Deputy Attorney General Charles O. Monk II, chief prosecutor in the savings and loan cases, said his office has recommended that Gay, a real estate broker currently free on $50,000 bond, be allowed to participate in a work-release program while he is in prison.

Under terms of today's agreement, Monk said, Gay has one year to make full restitution. He is expected to be able to do so, Monk said, by selling a large piece of property.

Gay, at one time an officer of Banker's Realty Inc., a subsidiary of Old Court, was indicted in July on seven counts of theft, misappropriation and forgery involving more than $1 million in real estate sales and various professional fees for which he allegedly did no work.

He pleaded guilty today to two counts involving the theft of $400,000 in phony fees from Banker's Realty, most of which prosecutors said he passed on to Old Court President Jeffrey A. Levitt. The restitution the state seeks represents $557,015 the state alleges he stole in profits from an Old Court sale of a lucrative 404-acre commercial development in Atlanta called Riverview. Five other counts against him were dropped.

Gay is the latest of a string of former Old Court officers, including Levitt, who have been convicted of stealing millions of dollars from the institution. Levitt is serving a 30-year prison sentence for stealing $14.7 million.