Treasurer Charged with Stealing $88k from West Virginia Volunteer FD

The treasurer of a West Virginia volunteer fire department has been charged with embezzling $88,000 from the organization between 2009 and 2011.

Mary Elizabeth Taylor, who was treasurer of the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department, is accused of stealing $88,065.42 over a period of two years from July 1, 2009, and May 10, 2011. She allegedly committed the theft by misusing credit cards and issuing fraudulent checks from the department’s bank account.

An internal investigation was launched after  discrepancies in the department’s finances were discovered during an internal account reconciliation.  That in turn led to an audit of the department’s finances.  Taylor was terminated in June 2011.

The case was initially given to the police for investigation, but they referred the case to the Cabell County Prosecutor’s Office because they were better equipped to investigate financial crime cases.

Taylor, 46, stands charged with a single count of embezzlement. She was indicted last Wednesday by Cabell County grand jury. She had been with the department for six years.

The Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department funds its operations primarily through fund raisers and donations. Fire Chief Phil Kincaid, a forty year veteran, said that the department has instituted new financial controls. They are working with their insurer to recoup some of the losses.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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