A fiscal inspection report released by the State of Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts (AOA) on Tuesday, May 10, reported that $190,433.61 was allegedly embezzled from the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) by their former treasurer between the years of 2012 and 2015.
The treasurer’s name was not found in the official report.
“Of this amount, over $144,000 were attributable to ATM and cash withdrawals,” read the report. “AOA also found MVFC’s accounting records were falsified to conceal the irregularities. MVFC’s lack of internal controls had a critical impact on the financial management of the MVFC during the former Treasurer’s tenure.”
Officials from the MVFC said they were first alerted to some irregularities in their finances in early 2015, when some bills were coming in marked as “Past Due.” A part-time administrative assistant was brought in to assist the treasurer and increase internal controls and financial reporting to their membership, according to the MVFC. That is when unauthorized and unexplained charges were discovered in their accounts.
Following an internal investigation, evidence was gathered by MVFC officials, and the individual was suspended, according to Bob Powell, public information officer for the MVFC. The company then reportedly worked with Delaware Volunteer Firefighter officials and their accounting firm to quantify the loss.
“We immediately contacted the Fraud Hotline and began the process with the Auditor of Accounts for the State of Delaware,” said Powell.
The AOA inspection revealed that MVFC officials met with the former treasurer in May of 2015, and he reportedly admitted to the personal transactions.
“The leadership of the Millville Volunteer Fire Company would like to apologize to the members of the community we serve,” according to a statement released by the MVFC. “This is truly a low point in our history. We would like to assure the members of our community that at no time was the delivery of emergency services affected in any way. We remain committed to providing quality fire, rescue and emergency medical services to our community.”
For more on this story, pick up the May 13 edition of the Coastal Point.