Grand jury indicts Norwalk man accused of stealing $100,000 from KofC

Norwalk man served as Catholic fraternal service group's treasurer/secretary for 21 years.
Cary Ashby
Nov 23, 2013

The former long-time treasurer/secretary for the Norwalk Knights of Columbus Home Association is accused of skimming more than $100,000 from the group over a five-year period.

And for that, a Huron County grand jury has indicted the Norwalk resident on felony charges.

Gerald R. Weisenberger, 66, of 25 E. Washington St., Apt. B., is charged with two counts of theft and one count securing writings by deception -- all fourth-degree felonies.

Weisenberger was one of 13 suspects indicted Friday. The suspect was the treasurer/secretary for 21 years.

Knights representatives spoke to the Norwalk Police Department about the allegations in June, current treasurer/secretary John Evans said.

Evans, who took over as treasurer/secretary about April, said the suspect skimmed more than $100,000 from the home association, which handles the bills for the Knights of Columbus, from 2006 until 2011, based on a review of financial records.

The situation reportedly starts with the Knights selling the property at 254 W. Main St. nearly eight years ago.

"We sold the building we were in for many years and now we rent (there)," Evans said. "The group continues to rent its space and hold meetings with a 10-year lease at $1 per year."

"The Knights of Columbus sold the building and grounds Sept. 7, 2005 for over $150,000 with (a) down payment of $50,000, which included an agreement of $25,000 each year plus interest," he said.

As part of the sale agreement, the new owners agreed to spend an additional $50,000 for improvements to repair the parking lot, roof and upgrade the utilities.

"The Norwalk (Knights) council members approved the sale and purchase with agreement that the four annual payments be invested. Annually at the home association meeting, a balance sheet was provided with a list of current CDs -- interest rate and due date. During a review of bank statements, it was noted that in 2013 there were no known CDs," said Evans, who researched the records and investments.

"After reviewing account print-outs at the bank, a $30,000 CD was initiated in 2006, and less than one year later, was valued near $15,500. It seemed as though the CD was canceled early on and money then transferred into the home association checking account that only required one signature," he said.

"Subsequently, less money was transferred into a smaller CD. Leaders at the Knights of Columbus Home Association noticed discrepancies in the following annual deposits from 2007, 2008 and 2009, but the fifth deposit in 2010 was invested in a mutual fund," Evans said.

"Through random checks and balances of computer statements provided by the banking institution, there were clearly multiple CD transfers to checking account. Cash withdrawals were often cited by bank slip imaging records with signature of the recipient," he continued.

"The leaders and membership hope to obtain full restitution in this matter. There was never an audit of the investment accounts by any member as individual trust seemed to be a factor."

The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Conn., in 1882, it was named in honor of the navigator Christopher Columbus. Originally serving as a mutual benefit society to low-income immigrant Catholics, it developed into a fraternal service organization dedicated to providing charitable services, promoting Catholic education and actively defending Catholicism in various nations.

There are more than 1.8 million members in 15,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses. Membership is limited to Catholic men aged 18 or older. Membership consists of four different degrees, each exemplifying a different principle of the order.

Comments

thinkagain

Practice want you preach hypocrite.

ladydye_5
Sat, 09/28/2013 - 1:28pm
thinkagain....how about Luke 6:37

ladydye_5

I do NOT practice Catholic teachings or the bible...I am not a hypocrite. I will judge you on what you do. Steal from others, and I will call you a thief. I do believe that was aimed at YOU for not judging others because YOU were judging. YOU were spouting off bible verses so I was showing you one that you could try and understand. Thanks for paying attention. But you missed the part where I said I am NOT CATHOLIC nor do I follow the bible or your god.

thinkagain

More narcissistic, hypocritical gobbledygook from a biblical illiterate.

SoldOnAcorns

What amazes me is this idiot steals over $100k and still lives in an apartment ! Like Gordon Gee said....Damn catholics, can't trust em !

KURTje

Theft is flat out wrong. Most always have to put more "stuff" into it.

whattheBucks

You're right kurt, this simply has to do with some guy having a little authority and completely taking advantage of it, its about some jerk thinking only of himself ! And i know people fly off on every direction ( I'm guilty of it also ) but look, we some guy stealing, and all of the sudden we are half blaming catholics, col. Sanders, and the government, pretty soon it will escalate to the pope, Ronald mcdonald ( who is sanders friend ) and obama. " lets keep it simple, cheating person having access to money getting caught.

Whitebuffalo

Hmmmm...Maybe it's better to be a Mason!

whattheBucks

What does being a bricklayer have to do with any of this ? :)

Kottage Kat

Tithing is scriptural, theft is one of the 10 big ones. Read the manual folks it's. ALL in there

methodman

Nothing but brilliance on this here comment board. Odd that you can sell a building for 150000 dollars and then be able to lease that same building for the next ten yrs for a dollar a year and put 50000 dollars worth of improvements into as well. Are any of those dollars taxable? I would like to know how to do this as I am looking for a building for my business.

Capt. Ford

This caught my attention also, disregarding the inside theft, this business arrangement could stand further clarification.

Sarrak

Actually - a lot of this needs further clarification. Anything here older than 6 years is not prosecutible due to the 6 year statute of limitations. Putting CD proceeds in the checking account does not appear to be theft. There is nothing in the story that indicates money diverted to this mans use. I assume there is something but the story gives us very little. Also was there an arrest and was bond set? This story is just bereft of information.

jstus2001

Careful kids...this could be the next Democratic President...he has the background...

hambone

I used to think Cliff Cannon made intelligent remarks.

Cliff Cannon

@ hambone: Thankfully, it was pointed out to me. That you were disgruntled with my comments here, so may I explain ?


Normally, I would not comment on such an extremely sad event as this one. I've known the accused for about forever. Further, always thought very highly of him, as well as know he comes from a very good family, which just doubles the pain for all concerned.


Then when the chicken comments started popping up. It brought some happiness, where there was none before and I joined in. And honestly, in such a sad case, isn't that an 'intelligent 'thing to do ?


Great day to you

hambone

I used to think Cliff Canon made intelligent remarks?

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