Teamwork Pays Off For Only a Little While
A MANTORVILLE, MINNESOTA, COUPLE PLEADED guilty Wednesday to charges that they stole $12,000 from the Hayfield Community Ambulance Service where they were members and officers. James Dean Middleton, 43, and Anne Marie Middleton, 32, had been charged in Dodge County District Court in August with one count each of felony theft. James was captain of the squad and Anne was elected secretary-treasurer in January 2012. It was shortly after that date when discrepencies in the squad's accounts began showing up.
James and Anne Middleton
The local newspaper, the Post Bulletin reported:
According to the criminal complaints, the Dodge County Sheriff's Department was notified on July 18, 2012, by the ambulance service about an internal investigation of the couple for alleged misuse of funds. That investigation was prompted by a number of discrepancies in the organization's accounts.
An initial audit uncovered a number of unauthorized expenditures made at restaurants, gas stations and stores where ambulance supply purchases are not normally made. Some of the items purchased included groceries, electronics, a large gas grill, an electric weed eater and a gun safe. The audit found that these purchases were being made by the Middletons, authorities say.
On July 18, the Middletons were confronted about the expenditures They were asked to resign their leadership positions and return their equipment to the ambulance shed. According to the complaints, a more thorough audit done by the ambulance service found nearly $12,000 in questionable purchases allegedly made by the Middletons between Jan. 1 and July 18.
The Middletons' home in rural Sargeant was searched on Aug. 28 and authorities say they found several items purchased with ambulance funds.
The Middletons are scheduled for sentencing on March 6.
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