SHARON HILL, Pa. (CBS) — A fire chief in Delaware County is accused of stealing thousands of dollars in funds from his fire company.
William Harry Benecke, 51, the former chief of the Sharon Hill Fire Company, was charged Thursday for allegedly making unauthorized cash withdrawals and bank card charges of more than $4,300 for his own personal expenses.
The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office says an investigation into the missing funds began in April 2018. Detectives say they discovered a total of 15 ATM withdrawals from Caesar’s Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City and five unauthorized purchases made from Amazon.com and Apple iTunes Store, which took place from November 2017 to March 2018.
Benecke was suspended following the discovery.
According to detectives, there were a total of 20 unauthorized withdrawals totaling $4,359.60 from the Sharon Hill Fire Company bank accounts. They say the withdrawals and purchases were made from debit/credit cards issued to Benecke.
“Mr. Benecke knowingly stole from the tax payers of Sharon Hill Borough to pay for his own personal expenses, breaching the trust of the very individuals he was appointed to serve and taking advantage of his position of authority,” said District Attorney Katayoun Copeland.
Benecke has been charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, and receiving stolen property.