HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) – A 60-year-old Inver Grove Heights man is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from a Twin Cities nonprofit organization between December 2006 and December 2010, according to documents filed Thursday in Dakota County Court.
Donald Peter Boehmer was charged with nine felony counts of theft by swindle in connection with an incident where $154,000 was stolen from the International Concatenated Order of the Hoo-Hoo.
“It’s an unusual name but these are very serious charges in this case,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. “Obviously they have important goals to make this a better planet, yet now they have lost a significant sum of money.”
The International Concatenated Order of the Hoo-Hoo is described as a lumberman’s fraternity, founded inArkansasin 1892, with a quirky nickname. Today, Twin Cities Chapter President Dave Siwek said they educate teachers and students about forestry and the environment. Siwek said the mission is suspended for now, as his organization has lost every last penny.
According to a criminal complaint, Mendota Heights Police were contacted by a member of the group earlier this year. Police learned that during an internal audit in November 2010, money was missing from the club’s checking and money market accounts.
Boehmer became the treasurer of the group in November 2006 and had all the club’s financial matters sent directly to hisMendotaHeights home instead of the club’s P.O box. He was removed as the club’s treasurer last December.
The complaint states police found 259 checks written by Boehmer on the club’s checking account, 105 of which were not legitimate. Some checks were written to Phantom Sales, a private company owned by Boehmer, or written and endorsed by him and cashed at various Twin Cities banks.
He initially claimed that he would purchase items for the club and wrote himself checks from the club’s account as a reimbursement. He claimed he was trying to make money for the club by buying and selling products. Boehmer later told authorities writing checks from the club’s account spiraled out of control, he was in over his head and didn’t know what to do, according to the complaint.
“Mr. Boehmer owned a large home in Mendota Heights and was apparently spending money for his own personal use,” said Backstrom. Boehmer didn’t answer his door, when WCCO-TV knocked at his new home in Inver Grove Heights.
Twin Cities Chapter Board Member Kari Dorvinen told WCCO-TV, “Our members have been disappointed by the actions of one, but not dismayed and we will continue to find ways to promote the good things that our industry provides.”
Boehmer reportedly embezzled more than $154,000 from the club and admitted to stealing about $129,000.
Boehmer is not currently in custody but was charged by summons, and his first court appearance has not yet been scheduled. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted. Backstrom said prosecution will seek full restitution.