Couple Sentenced for Fire Company Theft
A judge in Pike County sentenced a husband and wife from the Poconos for stealing from a volunteer fire company.
The two were also the chief and treasurer of the Matamoras Fire Company.
Former Matamoras Fire Chief Kevin Degroat and his wife, former department treasurer Theresa Degroat pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from the Matamoras Volunteer Fire Department between 2002 to 2009.
Friday they were at the Pike County Courthouse in Milford to learn their punishment.
A group of active volunteers from the fire department came out to see justice be served.
“It’s been a long time. It’s closure,” said fire company vice president Scott Gillette. He is glad to hear the Degroats were sentenced to jail for up to two years.
The husband and wife will also have to pay back the fire company nearly $26,000 which is less than half of what they stole.
“It was a very big black eye but we also knew we had to come forward when we found something. We couldn’t hide it,” Gillette added.
Police said Theresa Degroat handled all the fire company bills and when they tracked the bingo checking account they discovered the Degroats stole $67,000.
Police said the money went to pay the Degroat’s school taxes, groceries and cell phone bills for family and friends.
Now members of the Matamoras Volunteer Fire Company has advice for all organizations out there.
“We were very lax. We got caught up in this and any organization, whether it be Girl Scouts, little league, football fire department, churches, don’t go single signature on any checks,” Gillette said.
Officials with the Matamoras Volunteer Fire Company said they have been trying very hard to regain the community`s trust and now are starting to see that trust come back by the amount of people coming out to their bingo nights.