Couple faces sentencing after pleading guilty to stealing $200,000 from Pecatonica Fire Protection District
Online Staff Report
A couple accused of stealing $200,000 from the Pecatonica Fire Protection District between 2006 and 2010 pleaded guilty Jan. 2 and will face sentencing Feb. 12.
Husband and wife Brenda A. Samuelson, 49, and Donald B. Samuelson, 57, were arrested in December 2011 after a 2010 audit of the fire department’s budget revealed questionable checks.
Investigation revealed the checks, which totaled $96,600, were written by Brenda Samuelson between 2006 and 2010, and were made out to Brenda Samuelson, Donald Samuelson and “cash.”
Brenda Samuelson was a bookkeeper and emergency medical technician (EMT) for the Pecatonica Fire Protection District until 2010. Donald Samuelson was a firefighter until 2005.
Donald Samuelson was paid more than $48,000 for hours he did not work, while Brenda Samuelson paid herself $40,000 for weekend hours and EMT standby time she did not work, and unauthorized bonuses of $13,400.
The couple pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and five counts of forgery as part a plea agreement.
The Samuelsons will be back in court next week for a hearing in a civil lawsuit filed by the Pecatonica Fire Protection District. The district is seeking the stolen cash, Brenda Samuelson’s salary from 2006 to 2010, which totals $130,500, and $500,000 in punitive damages.
Posted Jan. 3, 2013
Print This Article