W.Va. volunteer firefighter admits stealing $150K from department

Daniel Keener said he used his role as Bethany Pike VFD treasurer to divert funds, which he spent on concert tickets, credit card payments and jewelry


Earlier on Friday, we published an article from the Times West Virginian that incorrectly identified the fire department involved in this case. We have removed that article and replaced it with the following reporting.

By Leila Merrill
FireRescue1/EMS1

WHEELING, W.Va. — Daniel Keener, 46, pled guilty Wednesday in federal court to one count of wire fraud.

Keener admitted that he used his position as treasurer of the Bethany Pike (West Virginia) Volunteer Fire Department to move funds from the department’s bank accounts for his personal use, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Daniel Keener, Bethany Pike Volunteer Fire Department's treasurer, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Wednesday.
Daniel Keener, Bethany Pike Volunteer Fire Department's treasurer, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud Wednesday. (Photo/Getty Images)

Over a five-year period, Keener stole $150,000, using the money to buy concert tickets, to make payments on personal credit cards, to pay for a family member’s educational bills and to purchase jewelry.

He faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and has been ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution.

"Mr. Keener abused the trust placed in him by his colleagues at the fire department and now he must pay the consequences," U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said in a press release.

"This guilty plea highlights the importance of the work of our Public Integrity and Fraud Unit, in conjunction with other agencies throughout the state," State Auditor JB McCuskey said, reported by Times West Virginian. "For years, this money should have been used to protect the community of Bethany Pike and ensure our firefighters have the supplies they need. Instead, Keener used his position to betray his neighbors and his fellow firefighters in order to enrich himself. We hope this plea sends a strong message that we are watching and will not tolerate stealing from the people of West Virginia."

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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