Police: Treasurer Took Over $130K from Hose Company

DURYEA, Pa. -- A treasurer of a fire department in Luzerne County is locked up facing hundreds of theft and forgery charges.

Duryea police say the treasurer stole more than $130,000 from the Germania Hose Company over the last decade.

Police arrested Eric Wruble, 42, of Duryea, on Wednesday after a three-month investigation.

Wruble hid under a hood heading to his arraignment in Pittston. He is the former treasurer of the Germania Hose Company in Duryea.

Wruble is charged with more than 200 counts of theft, forgery, and fraud.

Police say he stole more than $136,000 from the department over the past 10 years.

Investigators say Wruble used his position as treasurer to write checks and deposit them in his own bank accounts. He's even accused of forging signatures of other hose company members to get the money.

"I can't say surprised because you see a lot of this kind of stuff often. It's something you don't want to see happen at all," said Duryea Police Chief Nick Lohman.

Duryea police say Wruble served as the Germania Hose Company's treasurer for the past 10 years.

The chief says the alleged thefts came to light over the summer when a member of the hose company passed away. Another member took over that bookkeeping position and discovered several suspicious transactions from the hose company's bank accounts.

"It's a lot of money. I mean it's a volunteer fire department, so they work off of donations and grant money, so I mean $100,000--over $100,000--is a lot of money to lose over that period of time. I mean, it's unfortunate," said the chief.

Wruble is locked up on $50,000 bail.

6 comments

    • Michele Walizer Williams

      The problem is ALL RECORDS ARE CONSIDERED PRIVATE and the ordinary Joe has NO RIGHT to look at or review the documents. Municipal Governments also keep secret their expenditures in a day when the INTERNET makes PUBLIC POSTING OF ACTUAL EXPENCES , RECIEPTS, CHECKS, and budgets SIMPLE for everyone to review as PUBLIC DISCLOSURES.

  • jimbrony

    Attention volunteer organizations: Read what George has to say below, and act on it! At your next meeting ask about audits, double signatures, and authorized expenditures. If you truly care about your organization and the people it serves you owe it to them to make sure that those that handle the money are being honest. If you get any grief from your inquiry, you should ask them ‘what’s to hide?’ and notify the authorities if necessary. Our group busts our butts all year long to raise funds and I sure as heck wouldn’t want some bum lining their pockets with our hard work. People like Wruble are trash, thinking they’re entitled to what others worked for.

  • George Lamprinos

    Shall I start my diatribe again? TEN years and no one noticed. NO rotation of duties. No auditing. The hose company shares some of the blame since they didn’t employ GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principals). We don’t need all those fancy things! We trust Eric. Eric is a good boi. He takes care of our money. No. No he doesn’t. It’s OK to trust. But verify by auditing and by using GAAP. This isn’t rocket science. Yet we see it at least twice a month. Perhaps WNEP should air a segment on what GAAP is and how to prevent this from happening.

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