Houtzdale Woman Accused of Stealing Poker Run Funds Waives Hearing

CLEARFIELD – A woman accused of taking money from the Madera Fire Company waived her right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Irma Charney of Houtzdale faces charges three counts of theft by unlawful taking and three counts of receiving stolen property.

According to court records Chorney is alleged to have taken roughly $10,000 in poker run proceeds in 2009. The investigation began in March 2010 when the state police interviewed two members of the fire department. Those men provided the state police with a forensic audit done by a CPA. The forensic audit examined the timespan of January 2009 through January 2010. It provided a detailed account of money that was taken in by the fire company through bingo and poker runs. While it showed money that was deposited, it also showed money that was unaccounted for.  According to the affidavit of probable cause, Charney was in charge of those events at that time.

She was interviewed by the state police on March 29. She was told by police that she would only be held responsible for the money that she admitted to taking. She reportedly told police that if the audit shows that $40,000 was taken and she admitted to part of the money, she was afraid she would have to pay all of it.

On April 1 the state police met with CPA Tim Fannin regarding the forensic audit. He was directed to perform a more detailed audit, this one focusing on the poker runs. As a result, the new audit reportedly revealed that the money raised in the three poker runs was never deposited into the fire company’s account.

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