4/27/2007New Jersey: Top Cop Nabbed for Stealing $150k from MADD
High-ranking MADD official and police chief caught stealing $150,000.
The New Jersey state Attorney General on Tuesday charged the former head of the state's Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter with two counts of conspiracy and theft by deception. According to state Attorney General Stuart Rabner, Clayton Police Chief Frank Winters, 60, and his wife Bernice, 56, created a company called "Holiday House" that was paid $150,000 to produce promotional items for MADD. The promised key chains, pens and other items were never produced, but the funds ended up in a bank account belonging to the couple, according to the charges filed.
In addition to being police chief for the borough of Clayton, Frank Winters was a Newfield borough councilman, former chairman of MADD-New Jersey and a member of the national board of directors for MADD. The Winters' kept their ownership of Holiday House a secret. They used funds paid to the company to pay off their own credit card bills and cover other personal expenses between July 2001 and March 2004.
"The alleged scheme is shocking on a number of levels," Attorney General Rabner said in a statement.
"The head of any police agency bears even greater responsibility to uphold the public trust than his or her sworn members. It's rare but tragic when someone in this position lets the public down in such a profound way," New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes said.
This is not the first case of financial mismanagement at MADD. The Toronto Star reported in December that MADD Canada spent 81 percent of donations on telemarketing and fundraising with only 19 percent going toward projects related to the group's stated mission. The group's website had previously claimed 83.6 percent of donations went directly to its programs.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton will supervise the Clayton Borough Police Department in Winters' absence. The Winters face ten years imprisonment and up to $150,000 in fines.
A copy of the charges filed against the couple is available in a 481k PDF file at the source link below.