A 30-year-old Darlington man has been arrested on embezzlement charges after Darlington police investigated questionable withdrawals he made while treasurer for the volunteer fire department.
Jonathon Grossen, a volunteer for the Darlington Community Fire District, was arrested for theft Friday night by the Darlington Police Department following an investigation into a report of suspicious financial account activities at the fire department.
Darlington Police Chief Jason King said Grossen allegedly stole nearly $55,000 from the donation accounts held by the department and from the Darlington Community Fire Commission. He remains jailed pending future court proceedings.
In the report, King states Grossen allegedly stole $47,284.40 from the donation accounts of the Darlington Fire Department and a check for $7,398.42 from the Darlington Fire Commission over a three year period of time beginning June 2, 2009, and ending on March 7, 2012. Grossen was the membership treasurer during this time period, and by virtue of his office, stole the money in small increments that went unnoticed until recent months.
According to King, Grossen’s position as treasurer was a volunteer position entrusted to him through an annual membership election process. Grossen was not re-elected this year and his term ended in March of 2012. It was after Grossen was not re-elected, and records that were entrusted to him were handed over, that several suspicious withdrawals were realized by other members of the department. Once these suspicious withdrawals were confirmed, Darlington Fire Department members brought the matter to the attention of the Darlington Police Department and asked that it be investigated.
An eight-week investigation into the matter revealed Grossen allegedly made 66 unauthorized withdrawals during the three-year time period he was treasurer, thereby depriving the donation accounts of over $47,000. Grossen is further accused of stealing a $7,398.42 check from the Darlington Fire Commission. The check was recovered and re-deposited into its proper account. However, the cash Grossen allegedly stole has not been recovered. The funds that remain missing are not tax dollars; they were donations.
Members of the Darlington Fire Department cooperated fully and assisted the Darlington Police Department in the investigation.