Friday, June 20, 2008

Veteran steals $85,000 from fellow Battle of the Bulge survivors

Some examples of stealing are worse than others. Taking advantage of the elderly is always bad. Stealing from charities is low. Having somebody you trust steal from a charitable organization made up of World War II veterans leaves you shaking your head.

An 82-year-old man pleaded guilty in Chester County Court of stealing $85,000 from the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge group in which he was a member. He used some of the money to buy a car for a girlfriend, according to authorities.

"The men who stand here today fought on a battlefield that was the one of the bloodiest in history," Edith T. Nowels, whose brother died at the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forest in December 1944, said outside a courtroom with other members of the organization, who had come to see their former colleague be sentenced, reports the Daily Local News in West Chester.

"These men did not deserve to have one of their comrades pull such an atrocity as Earle Hart did," Nowels, who edits the organization's newsletter, told the newspaper. "This organization has been ruined and embarrassed because of what Earle Hart did. To have this happen, it's just... It is unforgivable."

Earl Hart, 82, of Berwyn pleaded guilty to a single count of misappropriation of entrusted funds and was sentenced to one year's probation and ordered to pay $85,269.80 in restitution to the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge (VOBB), according to the newspaper.

Read the full story in The Daily Local News.

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