AP NEWS

Former Firefighter Accused Of Theft Hit With New Charges

March 18, 2019

DURYEA — A former member of Germania Hose Company who was previously accused of stealing more than $135,000 for his own personal use was arraigned Monday on new charges alleging he stole more than $14,000 from the now-defunct Duryea Ambulance and Rescue Association.

Eric John Wruble, 43, of 257 Swetland St., is facing 64 felony counts alleging he wrote himself 25 fraudulent checks and forged another 37 between February 2012 and January 2013.

According to the complaint, the ambulance association, which had been in operation since 1957, closed its doors permanently in January 2013, with board members citing a lack of finances to continue operations.

The borough council at the time requested to review the organizations books but got no response, police said.

Last August, members of the Germania Hose Company reported theft from that organization’s bank accounts, and an investigation revealed Wruble had stolen $135,643 from department bank accounts and racked up $491 in credit card debt on a department card while serving as treasurer, according to police.

Wruble was charged in that case in November and is currently awaiting trial on seven counts of theft, forgery, fraud and related charges.

Police say their investigation in that case uncovered the fact that Wruble also served as treasurer of the Duryea Ambulance and Rescue Association. Although Wruble denied ever writing any checks on any of the association’s accounts, bank records gathered in the Germania case showed he had deposited six checks from the Duryea Ambulance and Rescue Association, police said.

Police say the checks, written for $5,450, had things like “roof repairs” and “sewer repairs” in the memo lines, just like the fraudulent checks in the Germania case.

A review of the Duryea Ambulance and Rescue Association’s accounts showed that Wruble wrote himself 25 checks for $14,060 between May 4, 2012, and Dec. 16, 2012, police said. Investigators also found 37 checks containing 44 forgeries that were written between February 2012 and January 2013, the complaint says.

Police charged Wruble with 64 felony counts of theft, forgery and fraud. Magisterial District Judge Alexandra Kokura Kravitz arraigned him on the charges Monday morning and released him on $50,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing was set for April 30.