Friday, February 2, 2024

Fire department treasurer charged with theft of funds

RALEIGH
Feb 2, 2024

The treasurer of a Yadkin County fire department stands accused of stealing some of the department’s funds.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the arrest of Stephen Brian Hutchens, 60, of 1024 Lyndale Drive, Boonville. Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division charged Hutchens with eight counts of larceny by an employee.

Hutchens, the treasurer of the Boonville Volunteer Fire Department in Yadkin County, is accused of overpaying himself by $49,428.73 over an eight-year period, from 2016 to 2023.

Special agents began investigating Hutchens after receiving a complaint from within the fire department.

Hutchens was arrested on Feb 1. He was given a $5,000 secured bond and is due in Yadkin County District Court on Feb. 7.

“While we need to remember that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, it’s disturbing to hear that someone may have misused a volunteer fire department’s funds,” Commissioner Causey said. “Volunteer firefighters sacrifice a lot of their time and effort to protect their communities, and I am grateful for them. They and their communities deserve to know that the money contributed to their departments is being spent above board.”

Commissioner Causey encourages anyone who suspects fraud or scams to report it by calling 919-807-6840 or toll free from anywhere in North Carolina at 888-680-7684,” Commissioner Causey said.

You can anonymously report the scam or fraud. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.

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