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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 27, 2014

Former Treasurer Of Mayetta Fire District Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement

TOPEKA, KAN. - The former treasurer of the Mayetta Rural Fire District #1 pleaded guilty Monday to embezzling from the district, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. In his plea, the defendant agreed to an order that he pay $427,042 in restitution.

Richard P. Bontrager, 67, Holton, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement. In his plea, he admitted that in 2008 he began embezzling from the fire district by issuing checks with the forged signatures of members of the board of the fire district. The checks were made payable to R & S Services, a fictitious entity Bontrager created so he could deposit the fraudulent checks into his own account at Denison State Bank. From 2008 to 2012 he made approximately $427,042 in unauthorized transfers from the fire district’s accounts.

In addition, without the knowledge of the board of the fire district he falsified loan documents to obligate the fire district to monthly lease payments on a Polaris Ranger UTV and a 1988 Chevrolet 1-ton brush truck. He created false board minutes to make it appear the board had approved the lease payments.

Sentencing is set for April 14. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway is prosecuting.