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Former Bombay Fire Department treasurer charged with grand larceny

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The former president and treasurer of the Bombay Volunteer Fire Department has been charged with stealing funds from the organization during her tenure as an officer.

Malone-based state police charged Bridget L. Martin, 38, of Moira with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree forgery, second-degree forgery and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.

In early November, the New York State Comptroller’s Office released an audit revealing that tens of thousands of dollars were missing from the fire department’s finances and could not be accounted for.

The comptroller’s audit reported checking accounts were created and loans were taken out in the fire company’s name without the executive committee’s knowledge. The audit covered the period between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2010.

The audit implicated the fire department’s former president and treasurer, Ms.Martin, who held the positions during that time frame.

In addition to missing monies, some of which were the proceeds of fundraising efforts, the audit alleged Ms. Martin took out a $10,000 line of credit using all fire company assets as collateral in 2009. The issuing bank had a resolution saying the fire company’s executive committee approved the transaction.

Three committee members the auditors interviewed did not recall approving the resolution, and the department’s secretary said it was not her signature on the forms.

The current secretary and treasurer had signed the forms, but said Ms. Martin told them it was to open a new bank account, not for a line of credit.

The audit showed that as of Dec. 31, 2010 the line of credit had an unpaid balance of $8,197. Had it gone into default, all fire company assets would have been forfeited.

Additionally, auditors found that on Nov. 18, 2009 Ms. Martin borrowed $7,000 in the fire company’s name on a 90-day promissory note. Fire company officials denied knowledge of this loan to the auditors. Although the proceeds of the loan were traced to company accounts, the use of the monies could not be determined.

The loan was paid back on Feb. 26, 2010 when the bank automatically withdrew the funds, plus a $100 late fee, since repayment had not been made within 90 days.

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