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Former Colorado fire chief accused of stealing $640,000

8:57 PM, Oct 17, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - The former fire chief of the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District was indicted by a grand Jury Thursday on embezzlement charges.

David MacBean, 41, is accused of embezzling more than $600,000 in public funds for shopping sprees over three years.

"This man was someone that many of us considered to be a true leader in our organization as well as personal friend," Inter-Canyon Fire Chief Dan Hatlestad said. "This has had a very significant impact on many of us with in the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District."

The indictment says between January 2010 and March 2013, MacBean made unauthorized purchases in the amount of approximately $643,000 using the district's credit card and bank accounts.

According to the indictment, MacBean made numerous purchases through PayPal, Amazon.com, at Big R and various other retail merchants.

"In January of this year, we had a transition into a new treasurer. That new treasurer did request an audit, as would normally be done," Hatlestad said. "That audit uncovered some discrepancies and those were immediately taken to the Jefferson County DA's Office."

According to court documents, MacBean was supposed to provide a receipt for each expense. The grand jury found that MacBean did not provide those receipts, yet documents state the district "continually paid for purchases made by MacBean."

The fire district said it was not aware of anyone raising concerns prior to the January audit.

The treasurer named in the indictment, the same man who paid those bills, is no longer on the job. The district says it has changed the way money is handled, with more people reviewing every order.

"We want the citizens to know that we are very concerned about these very serious allegations, and we will continue to support the district attorneys' office during this investigation as it moves forward," Hatlestad said.

MacBean was a volunteer with the district for close to 10 years. He was the chief for 4 of those years.

This is an ugly chapter for the small volunteer fire department. The district has a little over 40 firefighters. It's annual budget is $900,000.

9NEWS went by the home listed as MacBean's residence. There appeared to have been a fire there and the home was empty. The Inter Canyon Fire Protection District confirmed a fire at the address in February. The cause was undetermined.

MacBean did not answer messages asking for comment.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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