NORTH ADAMS — The former treasurer of the Hoosac Hose Company has been ordered to complete 100 hours of community service for stealing more than $32,000 from the organization.
Everett "Gus" Martin, 80, of Windsor Road, Cheshire, admitted Nov. 20 to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt on a charge that he pilfered funds from the organization's bank account on multiple occasions dating back to 2011. The Hoosac Hose Company is the fundraising arm of the Cheshire Fire Department.
The money was first reported missing in March by Tom Francesconi, president of the fire department and its fundraising company. The funds were taken from a Hoosac Hose Company account that was used to store donations to the department and proceeds from special events, such as the department's annual Cruz Night, according to the criminal complaint filed against Martin.
When police questioned Martin about the missing money, he first stated that it had been deposited in a separate account in Springfield. But Martin was unable to produce the money, according to police. Martin also allegedly stated at a company business meeting that he had invested the missing funds in a land management fund in Springfield, but was unable to produce the documentation to prove it.
Investigators ultimately found a discrepancy between Martin's 2014 treasurer's report and the company's Adams Community Bank statements. There was no record with the bank of an account containing $32,588, which Martin had included in his 2014 report "to represent the money he had stolen in an effort to make it appear as though the hose company accounts were not so short," according to the police report.
Investigators discovered that, dating back to 2011, unreturned withdrawals amounted to $32,588.
A single count of larceny over $250 was continued without a finding for one year, during which time Martin has agreed to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $50 monthly probation fee, according to documents obtained in Northern Berkshire District Court.
Restitution was not ordered because Martin's family had already written a check for $34,000 earlier this year, the documents indicate.
Martin's attorney, Richard Taskin, declined to comment on behalf of his client. A representative from the Cheshire Fire Department could not be reached.