Unlike what many people think, Massachusetts theft and larceny charges can occur in the most unlikely places – including charities. That unfortunate fact was illustrated yesterday, when the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office announced that charges had been brought against a former treasurer of a Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in Lynn.
George Robertson, 65, was indicted on Thursday after legal authorities alleged that he stole over $300,000 from the organization, VFW Post 507 in Lynn, which is now-defunct. Lynn Police and the Attorney General’s office alleged that Robertson transferred funds from bank accounts held by the VFW Post to a personal account he held at a Stoneham bank. Authorities allege that he transferred the funds between September 2010 and May 2011, when supposedly the charitable organization was financially struggling, and had sold its property in an effort to prevent bankruptcy.
Allegations like this, if true, would bring a variety of Massachusetts theft crimes charges, including embezzlement and larceny by stealing. According to a statement issued by Attorney General Martha Coakley, “We allege that this defendant abused his position as the treasurer of the Lynn VFW to steal from the organization, whose mission is to serve our veterans, and then used the money for personal expenses.” Prosecutors allege that VFW had agreed in December 2009 to sell its property in Lynn to a charter school for $1.35 million. Shortly following that sale, the manager at the Stoneham bank where Robertson reportedly held a personal account, allegedly noticed that VFW checks were being deposited into Robertson’s account at that bank. Authorities say that when the bank manager asked Robertson about this, he supplied the bank with a letter from VFW, authorizing the transfer of VFW funds into Robertson’s personal account to pay his bills. Prosecutors claim the VFW had never approved those deposits. According to reports, Robertson was not arrested but will be summonsed to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on four charges of larceny and one count of falsely using the name of a benevolent organization.
These types of larceny and embezzlement charges can happen anywhere. As a Boston, Massachusetts larceny and embezzlement lawyer, I see these types of charges arise in a variety of settings and circumstances: For-profit, non-profit, private and public. If you or someone you care about has been arrested for or is being investigated for larceny or embezzlement charges, call us at Ph.: (781) 320-0062 or at Ph.: (617) 285-3600, or email us here for a rapid response. We will provide you with a free initial consultation, and let you know what you best legal options are.