Two administrators of a former ambulance squad in Bucks County bilked it out of $130,000, investigators said Tuesday, using the money to, among other things, pay personal credit card debt, pay for a coworker's honeymoon, and fraudulently receive health insurance.
Brian Eckert, 41, and Ruth "Roxy" Rookstool, 58, made the unauthorized purchases even while the Morrisville Ambulance Squad was running in the red, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in their arrest.
Rookstool, who turned herself in to police on Tuesday, has been charged with theft, receiving stolen property, identity theft, forgery and related offenses. Eckert was charged last week with similar offenses.
Neither immediately responded to requests for comment Tuesday, and there was no indication that they had hired attorneys, according to court records. Both were freed after posting unsecured bail — $30,000 for Eckert and $50,000 for Rookstool.
The squad, which operated for 36 years, ceased operations in September and was replaced by another emergency services provider. Morrisville's borough council, after a public plea for help by Eckert in April, gave the squad a $30,000 advance on its tax millage payments. Coincidentally, investigators believe Eckert stole about that much from the squad over seven years.
Scott Mitchell, Morrisville's borough manager, said he was "shocked and saddened by the allegations."
"There were people who came forward to report suspect activity going on at the rescue squad, and I'm glad those people did, or we might not know even today what had been going on," he said. "That took a lot of courage, and I'm grateful."
County detectives began their probe into the squad's finances in July, according to the affidavit.
While examining the main bank account, the detectives found that several checks had been issued without the permission of the squad's president between 2011 and this year.
Among the expenses were nearly $16,000 spent on Eckert's personal credit cards, Amazon Prime membership, and pet care, the affidavit said. He and Rookstool, the squad's operations manager, used the squad's money to pay for a $3,000 honeymoon for one of their colleagues, and Eckert received a commission as the trip's travel agent.
Other accounts showed that Rookstool was reimbursed "in the same month multiple times over" for office supplies she purchased for the squad using her personal credit card, according to investigators.
Eckert used the squad's Home Depot credit account to buy Rookstool a $619 personal dishwasher. When pressed by detectives, Rookstool said it was a Christmas present from Eckert, the affidavit states.
Rookstool also received more than $95,000 in health and dental insurance coverage through the squad despite not working enough hours to be eligible for those benefits.