UPDATED (Feb. 2, 2017): Charges against all five suspects in a Division of Gaming Enforcement investigation of alleged embezzlement of American Legion Post 28 (Millsboro) have now been dismissed, after investigators concluded that while there had been probable cause, there was no basis to proceed with prosecution.
According to DGE officials, while the initial investigation established probable cause through witness statements, video surveillance and bank records, new information uncovered after the arrests disputed the evidence originally obtained and did not support the charges filed against the suspects. As such, all charges filed against Charles Nimmerichter, Samuel Mauger, Michael Rooney, Edward Mazewski, and James Gallagher were dismissed without prejudice.
Officials said that during the ongoing investigation, an extensive review of the Post’s financial records revealed that checks were written out to “Cash” on an account for the Post’s ATM machine. Those checks were to obtain cash to replenish the money in the Post’s ATM machine, officials reported. In addition, they said, ATM records for the machine reflected that withdrawals made by the accused reconciled with cash withdrawals made by patrons. The Attorney General’s Office reviewed the investigation and concluded there was no basis to proceed with prosecution.
Throughout the investigation, officials noted, DGE had the support of the American Legion membership allowing for a transparent review. In light of the DGE review, the Post is working to establish better internal financial controls and safeguards, they said.
The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reported Friday that four Millsboro men and a Georgetown man have been charged with the theft of $641,000 from Millsboro American Legion Post 28 between July of 2012 and January of 2015.
According to DGE officials, the five men — along with a sixth man, who has since died — were officers of Post 28 at the time of the thefts and allegedly wrote and signed numerous checks made out to cash, cashed the checks at local banks and did not return the funds to or use them for the post’s business.
The suspected embezzlement was reported to DGE in January and, after a three-month investigation into the alleged felony theft, charges were filed April 7 against the five men.
Samuel Mauger, 65, of Millsboro was charged with two felony counts of Theft over $100,000 ($376,660 total). James Gallagher, 65, of Millsboro was charged with two felony counts of Theft over $1,500.00 ($13,000 total). Edward Mazewski, 69, of Millsboro was charged with two felony counts of Theft over $1,500 ($20,000 total). Michael Rooney, 66, of Georgetown was charged with two felony counts of Theft over $1,500 ($13,000 total). Charles Nimmericher, 53, of Millsboro was charged with a misdemeanor count of Theft under 1,500 ($400 total).
All five of the living suspects were arraigned and released pending a later court date. The sixth suspect was identified for allegedly stealing $218,040 in funds, but his name was not released by the DGE.