endorsed with the name of John C. Hardiman from the Rice Township Fire Relief Association account in the amount of $1400.
On October 2, 2013 a wire transfer was made into the Citizens Bank Rice Department account for $18,980. Investigators learned that the fire department association applied for a loan in the amount of $20,000 from Fairway Consumer Discount Company, Luzerne, PA. The wire transfer was the proceeds less fees from the loan.
Tombasco wrote a check to herself in the amount of $3,117.84 on or about October 5, 2013 and presented it to United Check Cashing, where she received cash. The check was presented to Citizens Bank and was not honored because the account required two signatures. Therefore United Check Cashing was denied payment and referred to contact Tombasco for reimbursement.
The Citizens Bank check declining event caused a heated meeting between Tombasco, John C. Hardiman, President of the Fire Department and the bank manager and it was decided that the Fire Department Citizens Bank account would be closed. A bank check in the amount of $14,181.39 was deposited into the First National Bank of Pennsylvania and endorsed to the new account in the name of Independence Fire and Rescue Company.
Investigators applied and obtained a search warrant for First National Bank, South Mountain Blvd, Mountaintop and requested any and all financial records of the Rice Township Fire Department Association or Independence Fire and Rescue Company. Tombasco endorsed a starter check drawn on the new First National Bank in the amount of $3136.00 and made payable to United Check Cashing to cover the Citizens Bank Check that was denied. In addition Tombasco endorsed a check for $3,053.30 and the bank in turn issued a check in the same amount to the Luzerne County Housing Authority. Tombasco had received a judgment in that amount on October 3 for failure to pay back rent. The judgment was settled and the case closed upon receipt of the $3053.30 by the Luzerne County Housing Authority.
Investigators determined that by the third week of November Tombasco had endorsed a total amount of $17,743.06 out of the First National Bank account leaving a low balance of $25.03. A second wire transfer on November 25, 2013 in the amount of $14,811.16 was credited to the First National Bank checking account, the proceeds of a second $20,000 loan from Fairway Consumer Finance Discount Company.
Former Rice Fire Company Treasurer Alicia Stier stated that proceeds of $1,133 from a spaghetti dinner in August and proceeds from a Memorial Day Weekend boot drive in the amount of $901 were given to Tombasco and were never deposited into the fire department accounts.
Tombasco admitted she took over the treasurer’s position sometime in August 2013, when the former treasurer resigned. No monthly meetings had been held since June 2013 and therefore there were no meeting minutes recorded.
According to Tombasco, the fire company had very low funds in their account and the Fireman’s Relief Association fund had approximately $1,400 when she received the checkbook, financial records and an ATM card bearing the name of