If you work in a public service field, you are often trusted with valuable assets. From public funds to actual lives, health care workers, emergency responders, police and fire fighters can have a lot riding on their shoulders. While this can be stressful, public workers often have to work very hard to remain above reproach in the watchful eyes of citizens and media.
One group of fire department employees in Delaware County have allegedly not remained above reproach. Three employees, including the treasurer, chief and president, are being accused of stealing approximately $52,000 in funds from the department. According to reports, the group allegedly conducted the thefts by writing checks to each other and cashing them.
When confronted with the check-writing anomalies, two of the individuals said that they were reimbursing themselves for out-of-pocket expenses. They said they paid bills for the department from their own pockets and repaid themselves later. Police reportedly said that the individuals had not been able to produce receipts or documents to back this up.
An investigation was launched into fire department finances after several irregularities were noted. One flag that led to the investigation was a large amount being spent on regular fuel even though the fire trucks use diesel fuel.
Police have arrested one person in the investigation but have reportedly not yet arrested the other two individuals allegedly involved. This case brings up a very good point about anyone with access to business or organizational funds. Paper trails are a critical shield against unwarranted allegations. If expenses are being reimbursed, documentation is important. If you are facing theft or fraud charges due to your role in a business or organization’s finances, seeking immediate help with defense can help reduce the consequences of those charges.
Source: nbcphiladelphia.com, “Colwyn Fire Company Members Stole More Than $50K: DA,” Dec. 21, 2015