MISSOURI FIRE DEPARTMENT SECRETARY ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT
Aug. 1, 2019
Being in charge of an organization’s finances is a large responsibility. Any mistakes that are made could not only impact the organization but could also leave a treasurer susceptible to criminal allegations. In fact, a woman who served as the secretary of a volunteer fire department in Missouri is now accused of embezzlement.
Reports indicate that though the woman was the organization’s secretary, she took over some of the treasurer’s responsibilities. Law enforcement agencies accuse the 33-year-old woman, who is married to the fire chief, of embezzling money starting in Dec. 2016. Officials claim she stole the money in two different ways.
In the first method, the woman reportedly cashed check donations but never deposited the money; officials claim that she forged the former treasurer’s signature to do so. In the second method, the woman is accused of using a fire department bank card to pay for meals and other expenses that were atypical for the department. Her alleged actions were said to be discovered after she stopped attending meetings, prompting the fire department to appoint others to take on the responsibilities; these appointees claim to have discovered the discrepancies.
Officials in Missouri claim that the woman took just under $70,000 from the fire department. In addition to the embezzlement accusation, the woman is also charged with forgery. Regardless of claims made by law enforcement officials, a person is presumed innocent and can only be convicted of a crime if there is sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt — a standard that is often difficult to meet. Many people accused of crimes find it helpful to have an experienced professional on their side as they sort through the evidence against them and determine the best course of action.