ALDIE, Va. — A treasurer of a volunteer fire department pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $645,000 of the department's money, which he used to pay off his mortgage and credit card bills.
The Washington Post reported that Jerry Keith Cromer Jr., 79, admitted he used the coffers of the Aldie Volunteer Fire Department as his own bank account for more than a decade, writing checks or drawing money for personal expenses.
The theft started in 2000 and continued until September 2012, according to the report. Cromer had “sole signature authority” when he served as the elected treasurer from 1995 to 2012, according to the report.
Scott K. York, chairman of Loudoun’s Board of Supervisors, said they have tried to push for access to the fire companies’ books when allocating county funds. He said the board has also advised volunteer leaders on appropriate “checks and balances” to prevent theft, according to the report.
“On behalf of the department, we sincerely hope that the members of our community will not let this episode overshadow the department’s faithful and beneficial service and will continue to look with favor upon its firefighters and first responders,” said Robert Brown, the department’s attorney.