Steven Cunningham, 42, of Tipton, is suspected of skimming an average of $235 each week from the Wednesday bingo nights he was in charge of running in 2018, according to charges filed by state police.
The total amount of money state police estimated was stolen was $12,140, with that figure described by state police as a low-end calculation.
When state police questioned Cunningham, the former fire company officer allegedly confessed to putting extra money in his own envelope after the Wednesday bingo nights. He told state police he would pay the ticket sellers $50 each night and the tear-off game sellers would get $25. He was to get $50, but instead he padded his own envelopes with about $235 each week and on a few occasions as much as $300.
The investigation into the missing money started with Antis Township officials questioning the revenue differences between the Wednesday and Saturday bingo nights. In late 2018, there was a change of leadership at the fire department and in early 2019, Antis Township officials turned over the findings of their own investigation into the use of funds at the fire company to state police.
Cunningham, accompanied by his attorney Dan Kiss, turned himself into state police on Friday for his arraignment on felony counts of theft. He remains free on an unsecured $50,000 bond with a preliminary hearing on April 1.
Kiss pointed out his client cooperated with police and admitted his role.
“Our belief is that other actors are engaging in worse behavior,” Kiss said.