ECHS files suit against former treasurer

ST. MARYS - The Elk County Humane Society has filed suit against its former treasurer, Richard A. Danz, 47, of 376 Walnut St., St. Marys, alleging he siphoned funds from the nonprofit corporation's financial accounts into his own personal bank account, as well as those of his financial and tax business located at 210 Brusselles St. in St. Marys.According to court documents, during his tenure with the humane society which began in 2008 and ended with his resignation on June 22, 2012 after being confronted by humane society personnel about missing funds, Danz had sole control of the organization's finances, as well as accounts purposed for investments, bill payments, and paying of employee payrolls. The suit filed in Elk County Court on July 31, 2012, alleges that during this time Danz embezzled funds from the humane society's financial accounts and used the monies for his own benefit, including the purchase of seven automobiles.According to the complaint, on June 27, 2012, the humane society through its solicitor and attorney Thomas G. Wagner provided Danz with a letter demanding he surrender records pertaining to humane society finances in his possession, as well as account for nearly $300,000 withdrawn from the society's Certificate of Deposit and checking account at CNB Bank in St. Marys. The complaint states that Danz "failed or refused" to comply with the request. According to the complaint, in December 2008, Danz, using humane society funds, created a Certificate of Deposit with CNB Bank in the amount $105,000. The suit alleges that between December 22, 2008 and Sept. 9, 2009, Danz authored a series of payments totaling $26,239.81 made out to both himself and his Brock Tax and Financial business. In addition, the suit claims that between April 12, 2010 and Dec. 27, 2010, Danz invested approximately $340,000 in humane society funds in an HD Vest account. The complaint states that Danz proceeded to withdraw $310,000 from the account, which he deposited into the humane society's checking account. Of that $310,000, it is alleged that he diverted $260,308 through checks made payable to his Brock Tax and Financial business.