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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fairmont man charged with embezzlement

FAIRMONT — A local man has been arrested and charged with embezzling thousands of dollars from the Fairmont-Marion County Food Pantry.

Mitch Weaver, 51, of Fairmont, former director of the food pantry, was arrested late Thursday by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. As of Friday, Weaver was incarcerated in North Central Regional Jail. His bond was set at $20,000.

Detective Chip Phillips said Weaver allegedly embezzled about $53,792 from May 2005 to March 2009. He said when the pantry’s board of directors discovered the shortage, it contacted the sheriff’s department, which conducted a thorough investigation into the organization’s financial records.

Phillips said if Weaver is convicted for embezzling, a felony, he faces up to 10 years in jail and fines.

In late March, Weaver resigned as director, according to a letter sent by the food pantry to volunteers and concerned parties. The letter said the food pantry’s governing board decided to conduct an audit, hire a new director and reorganize.

The board also decided to temporarily close the pantry in March due to a lack of funds and food, but it reopened in May.

Many area churches and organizations have contributed to the food pantry for years.

The pantry has fed thousands of people for nearly 30 years, but it closed briefly in late March to reorganize. Located at 107 Jefferson St., the pantry serves 300-400 families or more than 1,200 people a month.


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