On Monday, it was announced that a Hurricane, West Virginia woman had pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $75,000 from the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department. 52-year-old Kathy Sue Gwinn entered her guilty plea to theft from a program receiving federal funds. The defendant formerly served as the Treasurer of the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department. The defendant was responsible for generating payroll checks and signing the checks on a fire department bank account.

Gwinn admitted that she volunteered for the fire department and did not have authority to write herself checks. She also admitted that she was not entitled to wages, salary or compensation for her role as Treasurer. The defendant confessed to printing and writing herself unauthorized checks from the fire department’s payroll account from October 2014 through March 2017.

To conceal the crime, the defendant moved money from one fire department bank account into another bank account, which was primarily used for payroll. She inflated the amount of the transfer to ensure the unauthorized checks were covered. Over the course of the scheme, the defendant embezzled $75,356.70. As a part of the plea agreement, Gwinn has agreed to pay the full amount in restitution.

During the time that Gwinn was embezzling funds, the volunteer fire department received grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant money allowed the fire department to pay firefighters and maintain equipment. Gwinn is scheduled to be sentenced on April 9, 2018. At the time of her sentencing, she will face a maximum of 10 years in federal prison.

Additional details can be found here.

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