Sunday, February 13, 2011
Florida Man Arrested & Charged With Embezzling $1 Million From Municipality & Civic Organizations
Philip C. Bennett, 61, of Fort Meyers, Florida, was arrested Thursday and charged with embezzling about $1 million in total from three local civic organizations for which he had been treasurer and the City of Moore Haven, where he had served as asset manager for the municipality's Capital Project Finance Authority. Bennett allegedly began his schemes in February 2005, when he began taking funds from various city accounts in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 and depositing them into his own accounts until about August 2008. All told, he is believed to have stolen $268,500 from various city projects. Bennett is also accused of embezzling some $444,000 from the Fort Meyers Rotary Club beginning in September 2005 in amounts ranging from $8,000 to $35,000. These thefts reportedly continued until January 2008. He also is accused of embezzling $244,000 from the Fort Myers Rotary Trust fund and another $18,000 from the Rotary Leadership Institute Sunshine Division. Finally, Bennett is accused of embezzling $62,000 from Lee County commissioner Frank Mann's election campaign account. In total, Bennett is accused of stealing $1,031,500. On his LinkedIn page, Bennett claims to be a specialist in forensic accounting and fraud prevention/detection. His is the owner of Public Finance Associates, Inc.