DA: Chesco fire official stole $74k from relief organization

Friday, March 02, 2012

A Chester County fire official has been charged with stealing more than $70,000 from an association which assists the families of fallen firefighters.

Joseph Troiani, 54, of Coatesville served as the treasurer of the Chester County Firefighters' Relief Association for more than 10 years.

Prosecutors say Troiani transferred money from the association's bank accounts into his own account, then spent it.

"He was spending it on common household expenses," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan told Action News. "And in a tough economy like this, people who are embezzling often are spending it not on luxury items, but on everyday, just-enough-to-get-along items."

Investigators found evidence of at least 100 such transactions over the course of four years, from 2007 to 2011. Prosecutors say the total amount stolen was approximately $74,000. If convicted, he could face serious jail time.

"Will he make restitution?" asked Hogan. "Will he accept responsibility? All the indications we have early on is that he is taking this very seriously, that he has every intention of making restitution as fast as he can."

There was no answer at Troiani's home Friday. He has been released on bail.

Coatesville's fire chief, John Lentz, issued this statement: "Mr. Troiani has not been active as an emergency responder for a number of years. He was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of these charges."

Troiani has been a volunteer working out of a hose company in the heart of downtown Coatesville for more than thirty years.

His fellow firefighters, who've known him for years, describe him as a good guy and a hard worker. No one was willing to discuss the serious charges lodged against him.

The Chester County Firefighters' Relief Association was formed in 1922. The Firefighters' Association pays a death benefit to families of firefighters who have died.

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pennsylvania, fraud, chester county, coatesville, embezzlement, crime
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