Sunday, September 11, 2016

Florida Air Force Fire Chief accused of stealing $133,000 intended for charity

Air Force Fire Chief accused of stealing $133,000 intended for charity and using it for vacations
Washington Post
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff
September 9, 2016

A Wisconsin district court has indicted the chief of the U.S. Air Force Fire Service, accusing him of stealing more than $130,000 intended for charities and using those funds to pay for vacations, gambling and paying off credit card debt.

James E. Podolske Jr., 59, of Panama City, Fla., faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines on two counts of fraud, U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced Thursday in a Department of Justice news release. According to the release, Podolske used his position in the Air Force to defraud about 25 businesses’ funds that were meant to go to charity.

He is also accused of disclosing proposal information to give a defense contracting company a competitive advantage. The Justice Department did not name the company in the news release.

Between 2009 and 2013, Podolske organized charity banquets and a golf outings in association with an annual conference put on by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
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