Carothers charged with VFW embezzlement

After a 15-month long investigation, Harrison’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander Richard Lee Carothers was arrested for embezzling funds from the organization.

Carothers, 69, of Harrison, was arrested by State Police investigators August 15 and removed from his position as Post Commander.

Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis said he was arraigned in 80th District Court last Thursday, and charged with nine felony charges including:

* one count of Embezzlement $1,000 to less than $20,000 from a non-profit or charitable organization, punishable by up to ten years in prison and either a fine of $10,000 or up to three times the value of the stolen property;

* one count of Larceny by Conversion $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, punishable by up to five years and $10,000 fine or up to three times the amount taken;

* one count of Forgery, punishable by up to 14 years in prison;

*one count of False Pretenses $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 punishable by up to five years in prison and either a $10,000 fine or three times the value stolen; and

* five counts of Uttering and Publishing, each punishable by up to 14 years in Prison.

Carothers was released on $10,000 cash/surety/ 10 percent with a stipulation that he have no contact with the Harrison VFW, its agents or employees

A release from the Mt. Pleasant State Police said the investigation, which began in April, 2011, by initiated by the post and a review of financial records was completed by detectives and forensic accounts. Carothers was identified as a suspect, and the Prosecutor authorized the warrant August 8.

He faces a Preliminary Examination on August 27 at 2 p.m.