Couple accused of stealing from two non-profits

A Soldotna couple is facing multiple felonies after more than $8,200 was stolen from two organizations with ties to Central Emergency Services.

Bank account records show the money was spent on multiple Amazon.com purchases and a trip to Disney Land, in addition to utility payments made to the Homer Electric Association and ENSTAR, according to court documents.

The thefts occurred from 2011-2013, according to the documents.

Former Central Emergency Services Captain Jack D. Anderson, of Soldotna, faces two class C felonies, punishable by up to $50,000 in fines and up to five years in jail per charge and one class B felony, punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and up to 10 years in jail.

His wife, Angela J. Anderson is being charged with the same three felonies, theft II, fraudulent use of an access device and scheme to defraud.

The charges come after nearly a year of investigation when two Central Emergency Services employees, John Evans and Josh Osborn asked for investigation into money missing from a non-profit fraternal organization they belonged to with Anderson, according to charging documents.

The organization, Great Fools of Fire, a local chapter of the national Fraternal Order of Leatherhead Society, or FOOLS, had been defunct since 2009 and when efforts to resurrect the organization began, members were unable to get financial records from Anderson, who had been president of the local chapter, according to the charging documents.

The two firefighters who filed the complaint said Anderson was being “evasive” about money missing from the group’s checking account and eventually told Evans that there was no money in the account, according to the charging documents.

Included in the missing money was several thousand donated to the FOOLS organization after CES firefighter Cameron Carter was killed in a helicopter crash in 2007, according to the charging documents.

More than $5,800 was fraudulently charged to the FOOLS account, including utility payments and charges from a hotel in Maui, and according to the complaint, the utility payments were made to accounts belonging to Anderson.

The account had one debit card which was issued to Anderson, according to the complaint.

After the investigation into thefts at FOOLS began, Lori Tyler, CES Training Coordinator, approached police in June of 2013 and said she believed Anderson had also stolen money from Explorer Post No. 999, according to the complaint.

The Explorer Post is a youth group program, sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, which targets students between 14 -18 years old and taught them the basics of fire fighting.

Tyler gave police financial records from 2011 showing that utility bills registered to Anderson had been paid via electronic transfer from the Explorer Program bank account, according to the complaint.

In addition, a $500 transfer was made from the Explorer account into Anderson’s personal checking account, according to the charging documents.

That account was eventually overdrawn by about $60 after more than $2,400 had been fraudulently spent, according to the charging documents.

When Soldotna police interviewed Anderson in 2013 he said his wife, Angela Anderson, was in charge of the household finances and, according to the charging documents, she was “unofficially commissioned” to make purchases for the FOOLS chapter.

Jack Anderson told police he had discovered “numerous” Amazon.com purchases in recent years and after confronting his wife about it, had been told that she had forgotten about the FOOLS credit card being listed as the primary card on her Amazon account, according to the charging documents.

At the time, both agreed to make personal purchases from their own bank accounts to pay for FOOLS items until the problem was fixed, according to the charging documents.

Jack Anderson told police he didn’t think to check the FOOLS account again until Evans said he wanted to re-establish the FOOLS chapter. At that time it became apparent that additional personal purchases had been made, according to the charging documents.

Jack Anderson told police that he did not understand how the finances were paid in the couple’s home and, according to the charging documents, said he wanted to make restitution.

He “appeared surprised” when told that money had also been stolen from the Explorer troop, according to the charging documents.

When interviewed by Soldotna Police, Angela Anderson said the situation was her mistake and she did not want her husband to lose his job, according to the charging documents.

Angela Anderson told police she mistakenly took what she believed to be Jack Anderson’s personal checkbook and used the account number to make online utility bill payments, not realizing she was using the wrong account, according to the charging documents.

Bank records verifying the fraudulent activity where seized from both Jack and Angela Anderson, according to the documents.

It is not yet clear when Jack Anderson left CES. Fire Chief Chris Mokracek did not immediately return calls for clarification. Anderson was last quoted as a CES employee in a Peninsula Clarion article from May 5, 2013. There are no further indications of his employment after that time.

Both Andersons have been summoned to appear in court on May 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Kenai, according to court documents.

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com.

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