Gina Tombasco, 30, 7026 Horizon Village, Mountain Top, PA was charged with five felony counts for theft of more than $30,000 from the Rice Township Fire Company accounts on Monday December 9, 2013. Tambasco most recently positioned herself as the chief spokesperson of the decertified Rice Township Volunteer Fire Company by organizing the new Independence Fire & Rescue Co. No. 1 in late August 2013.
Tombasco is unemployed and collecting disability. She was confined to the Luzerne County Prison with bail set at $30,000 after her December 9, 2013 arraignment and has now been released on bail. Tombasco’s Preliminary Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday December 18, 2013, 10:00 a. m. before Magisterial District Judge James M. Dixon, 789 Airport Rd, 102 Sunset Beltway, Hazle Twp, PA 18202. She is represented by Luzerne County Public Defender Ferris Webby. Rice Sgt. Harold Ehret and Luzerne County Detective Charles Balogh conducted the criminal investigation resulting in the arrest.
Tombasco had been an officer of the former Rice Volunteer Fire Company since June 2013 and had taken control of the accounts and books in August 2013. Tombasco signed for two $20,000 loans in October and November from the Fairway Consumer Discount Company in Luzerne, putting Rice Fire Company land up for collateral. No payments were made and based on annual interest payments of 15%, total payback for the loans is $103,000 over 10 years.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause police investigators were contacted on or about October 15 by the Citizens Bank Mountaintop branch manager, that suspicious activity was going on with the bank accounts for the Rice Township Fire Department. The bank manager met with Alicia Stier, who was the current valid signer on the accounts, who stated she was unaware of activity
including ATM withdrawals and agreed with the manager that the matter must be turned over to the Rice Township Police.
Investigators obtained and served a search warrant on Citizens Bank and obtained monthly statements, deposits, cancelled checks, ATM transactions and wire transactions from the Rice Township Fire Department Association and the Rice Township Fireman’s Relief Association.
Money was removed from the Rice Township Fire Department account through ATM withdrawals at a number of locations: Citizens Bank Mountaintop –10 transactions; 309 Fuel and Quik Mart –3 transactions; Citizens Bank Wilkes Barre, M & T Bank Wilkes Barre, PNC Bank Wilkes Barre Twp, and El Rincon Latino Restaurant in Wilkes Barre –1 transaction each. In addition nine ATM withdrawals were made at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Plains Township for a total withdrawn, including fees, of $5,607.02.
Tombasco also wrote checks from the Citizens Bank fire company account for $3,742.29 and police allege she also forged a check
See Tombasco page 4