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UPDATE: Action Taken in Ambulance Squad Embezzlement - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

UPDATE: Action Taken in Ambulance Squad Embezzlement

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UPDATE

Tuesday night we brought you the story of a woman who blew the whistle on possible embezzlement in the Lidgerwood ambulance service.

She said the squad treasurer Scott Mollberg was skimming money from squad accounts totaling about $1700, and she added board members were trying to cover it up.

After our story aired, Connie Whittier, the woman who blew the whistle, says there was a lot of response.

Whittier says her phone rang until midnight and then again Wednesday morning. She says people called to thank her for bringing the situation to light.

Whittier also says a sheriff's deputy showed up at the door and said they wanted to revisit the case.

She and the squad leader met with the deputy Wednesday morning. Whittier says he apologized that there seemed to be some miscommunication about the original report. He insisted that he did forward it to the state's attorney's office.

Whittier says she and the squad leader presented the bank statements and meeting minutes and have been asked to write statements.

She says she is impressed by all the response.

"We expected that there would be some interest in it and we would be hearing from some people. But actually amazed, incredibly amazed at the speed things are taking place. You know we're actually getting something done," says Whittier.

We also want to clarify that the state's attorney's office did receive the report. When we spoke with the office Tuesday, there was miscommunication about it being received.

The state's attorney did not find enough evidence originally to file charges.

The sheriff's department says the new information will be investigated like a new case. An investigator will being working on it soon. From there it will go back to the state's attorney.

ORIGINAL STORY

A member of the Lidgerwood ambulance service is fed up with district board members trying to cover up an alleged case of embezzlement.

After a report with the sheriff's department went nowhere, she called Valley News Live to blow the whistle on the man stealing the money and the board members trying to wash their hands clean of the situation.

The warning signs were subtle. Assistant Squad Leader Connie Whittier says, "We were getting minutes that he typed and there were no balances for the checking and savings." The check book also had not been balanced in nearly two years.

Once Whittier figured out the squad treasurer Scott Mollberg was taking money from squad accounts, she says the proof was not hard to find.

"The $800 to start with was transferred from our money market account to our checking account. Then he walked in the bank personally and withdrew $800 cash."

Bank statements back up the $800 transfer and withdrawal. They also showed much more. In one instance, Mollberg wrote down he took in $2,208 from an annual pancake breakfast fundraiser, but he only deposited $2,028.

Whittier says he was skimming little amounts at a time, in the end totaling nearly $1700.

"It's all donated money from the taxpayers. They don't expect that this money's being taken away," says Whittier.

A police report was filed by the squad leader shortly after the discovery, but, word-for-word, Whittier read that the board president "wanted to let it slide at this time."

So Valley News Live went to Lidgerwood looking for answers.

We first tried confronting Mollberg, though he never answered the door. Next we tracked down the Vice President of the Lidgerwood Ambulance District Board to find out why the district did not help.

DuWayne Irwin says, "The said money that was supposed to have been taken was out of the squad accounts, so it should've been handled within the squad, and it was."

This is true. Mollberg was relieved of his treasury duties, but he was able to stay on the squad. What Whittier does not understand is: if it is a squad issue, then why is the board involved.

Current board president Janice Breker says the board did not let anything slide. She says she has not seen the police report.

Irwin and Breker added the squad should have come to the board even before filing a report, and there was not enough concrete evidence that it happened since the state's attorney never followed up.

Valley News Live found out that is because the state's attorney has no record of the report.

"He should be prosecuted, and I think that the board, the board needs to take more responsibility for things like this," says Whittier.

Whittier hopes that bringing this whole situation to light will force action, adding the board needs start doing its job protecting taxpayer money.

It is worth noting that after the police report was filed, Mollberg did pay some of the money back. Whittier says that is not good enough. She is taking her evidence to the state's attorney.

Valley News Live also learned late Tuesday afternoon that there was a gathering in town after our crew left. Mollberg has voluntarily taken the rest of the month off from the ambulance service.

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