EAST DURHAM, N.Y. — Residents of Durham are in shock after the former treasurer at the East Durham Fire Department allegedly stole money from the department during his eight year run in the position.
James Martin, 68, is accused of stealing more than $40,000 from the East Durham Volunteer Fire Department from 2005 to 2013. State Police said he stole from various fundraiser events, as well as from two bank accounts held by the company.
Martin is also accused of making false entries in the financial records and filing false information to the IRS. The missing money was discovered when the new treasurer had the department's financial records audited.
Durham business owner Glen Aragona believes the community and fire department will feel the impact.
“It's all volunteer around here, and to lose that much money -- I should say taken from the department -- it is not good. Not good for us,” he said.
Aragona fears Martin’s arrest may mean his annual donation to the department could be gone, too.
“I know my business donates money to the department, and I’m sure many of the businesses in the area donate to the department, and so it’s a hard blow to hear that people that you trust and will take care of things and stabbing you in the back – it’s not a good feeling,” he continued.
NEWS10 ABC is determined to know why the theft went unnoticed for a long period of time, but Town Supervisor Bill Car declined to comment, the Department’s Attorney has not responded to a request for comment, and the fire chief has not returned phone calls.
"I'm sure everybody is going to be watching what's going on now just because of this incident because it is all volunteers and everybody does hard work,” Aragona said.
Martin is charged with two counts of Grand Larceny, three counts of Offering a False Instrument and falsifying business records. He was sent to the Greene County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.
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