Local tax preparer charged with embezzlement

ST. MARYS - Criminal charges have been filed against the Elk County Humane Society's former treasurer and financial advisor, Richard Allan Danz, 47, of 376 Walnut St., St. Marys, in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds through his position with the organization, as well as charges alleging he defrauded clients of investments made through his private tax preparation business. A police investigation was initiated on June 22, 2012, after ECHS board members filed a compliant against Danz alleging the theft of over $500,000 in funds from the society, where Danz was employed as treasurer and accountant/financial advisor beginning on Sept. 9, 2008.Investigators reviewed documents from the organization, including the Treasurer's Report and profit/loss reports compiled by Danz. According to the affidavit, the reports show that ECHS had "at its highest point" approximately $720,506.22 worth of financial assets and that while it could account for approximately $158,759.81 worth of expenses over a two-year period, there was an estimated $561,746.55 "missing from their financial accounts."In filing the compliant against Danz, ECHS board members told police that during his tenure, Danz had sole control over all of ECHS' finances, as well as accounts purposed for investments, bill payments, and paying of employee payrolls. The affidavit states that ECHS board members related to police that the organization's CD account and checking account balances were "less than they should have been and therefore they could not pay their monthly bills, utilities, payroll."According to the affidavit, ECHS board members unsuccessfully attempted to contact Danz via telephone and visit his Walnut Street home before sending an email to Danz "wanting to know what was going on with their finances."