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Charges accuse Monte DAV treasurer of taking $23,290

MONTEVIDEO — The former treasurer of the Disabled American Veterans chapter in Montevideo is being charged with writing $23,290 in checks for his personal use during a during a six-year time span when he did not issue any checks to veterans or others the organization is intended to benefit.

The Chippewa County Attorney’s office has filed four felony counts of theft and one misdemeanor count against Barry Lynn Galbreath, 58, of Lake Benton.

The charges follow an investigation by the Montevideo Police Department that identified 89 checks totaling $23,290 that Galbreath allegedly issued for his own personal use while treasurer of the chapter from 2007 through 2013.

Officers with the local DAV chapter contacted police on August 17, 2013, to report that money had been taken from the chapter’s checking account and that Galbreath had left town. A Montevideo Police officer met with Galbreath at his Lake Benton residence on March 11.

Asked by the officer if he knew what the 89 checks totaled, Galbreath said he did not. When informed of the $23,290 total, Galbreath replied: “Holy Moly,’’ the complaint alleges.

Galbreath allegedly took money to help make payments on his truck and to buy gas, and that some money may have been used for gambling, according to the complaint.

He told the officer that he intended to pay back the money, “but just got carried away,’’ the complaint charged. He said he thought he had put $1,500 back.

Most of the checks were written to “Barry Galbreath’’ or “Cash,’’ according to the court papers. Two certificates of deposit belonging to the DAV chapter had been cashed and put into its checking account without authorization, according to the complaint.

The charges were filed with the court on March 28.