Former Fire Chief and His Son Indicted for Stealing Almost $46,000
The former chief of the Seaville Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company and his son, a member of that force, were indicted today for allegedly receiving payments of approximately $46,000 based on fraudulent invoices and receipts they submitted for reimbursement to the fire company and Upper Township Fire Commissioners.
According to a press release, the Division of Criminal Justice obtained the state grand jury indictments of Eugene Spiegel and Jacob Spiegel, both of Seaville. It is alleged that through their fraudulent claims, Eugene stole $44,722 and Jacob stole $1,275. Both are now facing numerous charges. Some of the alleged crimes were initially uncovered by members of the volunteer company earlier this year. Eugene resigned on January 15th after being confronted with the allegations; Jacob stayed on and served a 30-day suspension but was later terminated.
An internal investigation at the fire company began in January when a volunteer became suspicious that Jacob Spiegel allegedly submitted a fraudulent claim for $1,275 that Eugene approved with his signature. Jacob later allegedly told investigators that he had cashed the check, but had done so at his father’s direction.
The state investigation began in March following an internal review by the Seaville Fire and Rescue Company of its finances that revealed several reimbursements Eugene had received for training courses and clothing that he had never paid for and the company had never actually received. The financial review discovered that the fire company had issued approximately $18,000 in checks to a clothing apparel company that listed Eugene’s home address as its location. In addition, the investigation found that Eugene had been receiving reimbursements totaling more than $17,000 since 2011 for purchases of fire company apparel from a defunct company that ceased operations during Spiegel’s alleged scam. The fire company could find no evidence it ever received any apparel. It is also alleged that between 2010 and 2013, Eugene Spiegel received more than $9,500 for trainings he did not attend.