MERCER – A former treasurer at the Mercer Veterans of Foreign Wars post is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the veterans’ organization over a span of nearly six years.
Albert F. Chambers Jr., 56, of 64 Clay Furnace Road, Jefferson Township, was charged Aug. 31 with access-device fraud, theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received. In a criminal complaint, state police said Chambers, while serving as treasurer at the Mercer VFW, 432 Erie St., Mercer, used organization funds to buy more than $3,500 in items and services for himself.
Police did not release the exact amount of money involved, but said it was a figure “far exceeding” $3,500, the amount that Chambers offered to repay in a letter in late 2019 admitting to the thefts and resigning as treasurer.
Chambers used VFW funds to make personal purchases including maintenance for his vehicle, pet supply and veterinary services, and at restaurants and gas stations, police said.
According to the criminal complaint, VFW officials discovered in 2019 that Chambers had made unauthorized purchases, between December 2013 and October 2019, using bank cards belonging to the post. VFW post officials then questioned Chambers.
A few days later, Chambers offered his resignation, admitted he made the unauthorized purchases and offered to repay $3,500 in monthly installments of $500 beginning Jan. 1. The post received $500 checks, which it did not cash.
Chambers was arraigned Aug. 31 before District Judge D. Neil McEwen, who set bail at $15,000. Court documents showed no indication that he posted bail, but Chambers was not listed the next day among the Mercer County Jail population. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30.