Volunteer Firefighter International

Five Charged With Fraud in Move to Obtain Volunteer Fire Assets

Indiana State Police took all five into custody, accusing them of filing fraudulent paperwork to gain control of a defunct volunteer fire department’s assets

By Sarah Jackson, WAVE

Five people are accused of filing fraudulent paperwork to gain control of a fire departments equipment and assets.

The Patriot Volunteer fire department has not been operational since 2017, according to Indiana State Police.

Related: Fire Chief Ousted, Volunteer Dept. Closed: 1 Year Later Still no Fire Dept.

On March 16, investigators said Christopher See, 37, filed fraudulent paperwork with the State of Indiana to gain control of the department.

See, along with Christopher Miller, 32, Caitlyn Staat, 19, Jacob Parker, 35, and Lewis Fritter, 42, then held a meeting without giving remaining Patriot Volunteer fire department members proper notice. Investigators said at that meeting, See was chosen to be president, Miller was chosen to be the new chief of the fire department, Parker was chosen as assistant chief and Staat was chosen to be the treasurer.

See, Miller and Staat then contacted the First Financial Bank in Vevay, Indiana and used fraudulently filed paperwork and to put their names on the accounts containing the department’s money, according to ISP. After contacting the bank, they were able to gain access to the fire department building and equipment.

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