Couple accused of stealing thousands of dollars from Pecatonia - – Rockford’s News Leader

Couple accused of stealing thousands of dollars from Pecatonia Fire Dept.

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A couple is accused of stealing thousands from the Pecatonica Fire Protection District.

Brenda and Donald Samuelson worked at the fire department and are accused of stealing more than 10,000 dollars.

People who spoke with 13 NEWS in Pecatonica we're saddened by the news.

Randy Martin lives in Pecatonica and believes this theft hurt a lot more people than the fire department.

"To steal money that, number one isn't yours, is wrong. Considering the fact that a lot of the stuff they get is based on people making donations and other things and if people are stealing that it just makes it wrong for the whole community."

Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato thinks the same thing.

"The state of Illinois is billions of dollars in debt governments and individuals in this economy continue to struggle...These types of matters need to be taken very seriously."

Brenda Samuelson is accused of writing checks for time they didn't work and bonuses they didn't earn.

The Samuelson's turned themselves in today and have been released on bond.

They each face multiple felony charges - 2 counts of theft over 10,000 dollars, 2 counts of conspiracy to commit theft over 10,000 dollars, and 24 counts of forgery.

Bruscato says the charges may change as the investigation continues.

"During the course of this investigation it was discovered that the two worked together to steal what could amount to in excess of 100,000 dollars once the investigation is fully completed."

The couple is also facing a civil lawsuit from the Pecatonica Fire Protection District. They're accusing Brenda Samuelson of stealing more than 200,000 dollars.

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