JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP -- A couple has been charged with stealing from the ambulance association they used to run.
Detectives say the ambulance in Lackawanna County, which is run on tax money and donations, is now out close to $70,000.
Suspicions were first raised at the Jefferson Township Ambulance Association back in July when the state auditor general's office found some red flags and called for a criminal investigation.
At that point, auditors thought $30,000 was missing. That number grew as the investigation went on.
The Jefferson Township Ambulance building near Mount Cobb was locked up, but its members and financial contributors in this part of Lackawanna County now have answers to questions that came up last summer.
A routine state audit found discrepancies with dozens of checks made out to two of the association's officers – Capt. Gerald Dennis and his wife, the association's treasurer, Dorothy Dennis.
The couple turned themselves in on charges of theft and forgery after a criminal investigation found more than just discrepancies.
According to court papers, a six-month investigation found the couple forged closed to 200 checks that were made out to them for purchases they said they made for the ambulance service.
Gerald and Dorothy Dennis were asked by the state auditor general and Lackawanna County detectives to prove they made those purchases but never gave over receipts.
Other ambulance officers told detectives the pair never should have made ambulance purchases out of their own pockets in the first place and many of the purchases they say they made don't make any sense.
Detectives say the couple paid themselves for association dinners that never happened, trainings that were never held, even candy for parades that the ambulance service didn't participate in.
Investigators say the theft totals close to $70,000.
Gerald and Dorothy Dennis face about 200 charges each. After their arraignment, they were released on unsecured bail, but they are due back in court next week.
We reached out to other officers of the Jefferson Township Ambulance Company but have not heard back.