Former treasurer for the Wayne Twp. Volunteer Fire Department of Hamilton Co. indicted

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. -- A former treasurer for the Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department of Hamilton County was indicted on six counts of wire fraud in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

Norman Burgess controlled all financial accounts for the fire department.

An audit of those financial accounts was conducted in July 2016 after inconsistencies were discovered, according to Pamela Taylor, public information officer for Wayne Township in Hamilton County.

Burgess was asked for all financial records and failed to comply after being given two deadlines.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department was notified and the case was referred to the Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

According to the indictment:

  • Burgess reportedly received nearly $60,000 in unauthorized payments between Jan. 2013 and Oct. 2016 from the department
  • In November 2013, he allegedly used the department's ATM card to pay $568 to Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens to pay for a relative's funeral 
  • In July 2015, Burgess reportedly withdrew $1,500 from the department's checking account and deposited it into his personal account
  • Between March 2013 and August 2016, he allegedly wrote checks for cash and received $2,700 in unauthorized funds
  • Between January 2013 and November 2016, Burgess reportedly made 226 unauthorized cash withdrawals for approximately $71,000 that were deposited into either his personal account or kept in cash
  • Between August 2014 and October 2016, he allegedly used the department debit card to make 104 unauthorized purchases for nearly $4,000 from Amazon.com

Burgess resigned in October 2016. He had been with the Wayne Township Volunteer Fire Department of Hamilton County Since August 2008 and had been clerk-treasurer since 2011.

According to Wayne Township public information officer, the financial systems have been reviewed and new measures put in place to ensure that no single member of the department has complete control over payroll and accounts payable. 

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