AURORA, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has learned a 71-year-old man has been indicted on several charges in connection with the theft of more than $700,000 from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2629.
“The VFW is a critical veteran’s organization in our community .”
Daniel Molnar, of Aurora, was arrested last week after being indicted by a Portage County Grand Jury on three felony counts which include aggravated theft, a felony of the third degree, tampering with records, a felony of the third degree, and money laundering, a felony of the third degree.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Aurora Police Department were able to identify $714,376.05 in funds that had been stolen from the VFW in various ways by Molnar, police told the Fox 8 I-Team.
Police say Molnar wrote improper checks and fraudulently used the lottery machines.
“Mr. Molnar was placed in a position of trust by the members of VFW Post 2629 and over the course of several years he violated that trust and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization and its members,” said Aurora Police Chief Brian Byard .
Molnar is being held in the Portage County jail.
“The VFW is a critical veteran’s organization in our community and was devastated by the theft of over $700,000 from its operations in the last several years,” said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin. “The Aurora Police Department has been vigorously investigating the theft and I have no doubt that it will bring the perpetrators to justice.”
David Kuhary, the current quartermaster at the Aurora VFW post, said the thefts almost forced the organization to close.
He said Al Homza, a member and accountant, stepped in to help the post get the finances straightened out.
“It was a mess and we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to stay afloat,” Kuhary said. He added several members loaned money to the post and members held several fundraisers.
Kuhary said VFW members now have a good system of check and balances to make sure something similar doesn’t happen in the future.
“I am very disappointed,” Kuhary said. “I am disappointed one veteran would steal from another. I am disappointed for this post. We had to work really hard to recover.”