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Is your "money guy" bonded?

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  • Is your "money guy" bonded?

    Just read the article in Firehouse News about the fire board treasurer from Iowa who embezzled money from the fire district that he served. Even more tragic is that he committed suicide, leaving a note that said he had taken over $28,000. The audit revealed over $100,000 is missing. The distict was bonded to the tune of just $10,000. What were they thinking?
    My question to all is: are the people who handle your business affairs bonded through your district and if so, how much are they bonded for?
    Our district, like so many others is comprised of people that we all know. Right? So why bother spending the extra money for bonding? Read the Firehouse article.
    I have been encouraging our fire department to bond the treasurer for years. Still isn't done. My reason is simple; where it comes to money, TRUST NO ONE. Bond them and conduct audits. Around here, the number of embezzlements have sky-rocketed. Why? Two words: gambling losses. We have riverboat gambling. I am not going to rail against them. I have gone on the boat a couple of times. I allocate what I will lose and keep it at that. Others will go there with the idea of winning, even if it costs them their entire paycheck.
    My point is that I never hear of anyone embezzling to pay for their healthcare benefits or to give the money to a favorite charity. It is usually to cover losses; either from gambling or bad investments. Come to think of it, investing IS gambling.
    Have two people sign checks, get them both bonded and do annual audits or whenever you change treasurers.
    Avoid a tragedy.
    Here's to your fiscal health!
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

  • #2
    Good points Chief. Recently a union treasurer from Illinois was sentenced to 3 years in prison for stealing several hundred thousand dollars from his local.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    • #3
      Our previous local tres. got out of jail time by making full restitution. He retired right before we caught him.
      "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

      www.elmirafire.org

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      • #4
        I stand corrected

        I was mistaken. He only got 2 years but he also had to pay full restitution. Still it amazes me no one noticed all the money that was missing. It is a real shame when you have to watch out for the "good guy"..
        IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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        • #5
          Our Treasurer was bonded, hopefully when they just switched they bonded the new one, too. T

          That came about after our regional dispatch center got burned -- their volunteer treasurer embezzled in the six figures from them, it's taken 10 years for their finances to recover. One day the President got a call from the IRS wondering where the last five year's worth of payroll taxes was...

          That embezzler was found the following spring by a road crew mowing the field at a rest stop...
          IACOJ Canine Officer
          20/50

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          • #6
            Betsy Layne FD in Floyd Co., KY was bamboozled out of $300K by their treasurer.

            My question is, how the hell does that much money slip by EVERYBODY?

            As for bonding, clearly a good idea. I am surprised that lending institutions will make loans to anyone w/o a bonded treasurer. Anyone have experience on that?
            “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
            ― Hunter S. Thompson

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            • #7
              We had a fellow several years ago hit us for several thousand. He went so far as to pay for a computer for home with an Associaition Check. As the present day treasurer I know We are bonded, I'm not sure of the amount. All checks require 2 signatures. I know I recently got the bill for the bonding and it $125.

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              • #8
                Our's is bonded BIGTIME!! We have a standing auditing committee, plus we run our numbers through an outside firm. No troubles yet!
                May we never forget our fallen, worldwide.

                I.A.C.O.J. Safety/Traffic Control Officer

                E6511

                "Who's Who Among American Teachers" - 2005, 2006 Honoree

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                • #9
                  Dumb questions, but here they go :

                  1. What is the procedure for Bonding someone ? Is there any kind of background check ?

                  2. Is it based on a "sliding scale" ? say upto XXX dollars, or just a general blanket coverage

                  3. Assume this :Treasurer is bonded, but President isn't, both sign checks. Find out treasurer was skimming from the top, would the president be held accountable as well ? (I know, always read & know before you sign something)

                  4. Because of question # 3, should President be bonded as well ?
                  Chief Jim Bator
                  www.hopewellfire.org

                  IACOJ
                  Got Crust?
                  FTM-PTB


                  I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine. ~Kurt Vonnegut

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                  • #10
                    Yes and yes!

                    JJBat150:
                    If two people have check writing powers, then both should be bonded.
                    If there are no provisions for audits, then everyone who handles money will ultimately be pulled into the loop.
                    Your district's insurance company is a good place to start with your questions.
                    Yes; there is a sliding scale. The more money that you handle, the more the insurance will cost.
                    TC & SS.
                    Visit www.iacoj.com
                    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
                    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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                    • #11
                      Blanket bonds

                      If there is more than one person handling money, or even several, you can purchase a blanket bond to cover them all. Bonds are simply an insurance policy that guarantee the faithful performace of the person(s) who are bonded up to a certain dollar amount. Usually, if money is missing, stolen, etc., the bonding company will go after the person first, then if that is not successful, will payout in accordance with the bond. Most generally, these types of bonds are very inexpensive. Most of the ones we sell are in the $50 to $125 range for surety of $25,000 to $75,000.

                      Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

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                      • #12
                        bonding

                        Its a shame what money has done to the volunteer fire service. I have seen take good firefighers and force them out. The fireservice is like any other job you have good and bad. If you have somone in charge of large sum of money they should be bonded. And for some reason they can't be bonded maybe that person should not handle money.
                        " Be safe brothers, WE ALL GO HOME"

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                        • #13
                          our treasure is bonded,

                          but here is a stupid question,

                          what exactly does it mean to be bonded?

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                          • #14
                            to answer your question

                            Dear downtownlt, Being bonded is best explained like this, It's like an insurance, If that person runs off the bonding company will pay you the amount he or she is bonded for. It's like having car insurance for people.
                            " Be safe brothers, WE ALL GO HOME"

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                            • #15
                              THANKYOU ENG6, YOU HAVE BEEN SO HELPFUL...

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