Memorial Day, which usually is an occasion of celebration for the 30 or so members of the Sultan chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, was last week marked with sadness when one of their own was arrested for embezzling all of the club’s funds, totaling more than $90,000.
Club members became aware of the theft last November, said VFW Post Commander Chuck Donahue, a Vietnam veteran.
“The individual came to me and admitted it,” he said. “And I got a couple of calls from the bank.”
Friday, May 17, the man was charged with theft in the first degree.
According to court documents, Edward Ray Sherman, 65, served as the quartermaster for the club for many years, and in 2006 began writing checks against the club’s account to himself, family members and friends.
In total, Sherman appears to have written checks to nine people, including himself. Among them were a daughter, sister, son-in-law, a girlfriend and four people whose relationships to Sherman aren’t known.
Of the more than $90,000 that Sherman is believed to have taken, $17,845 is shown to have gone to himself. The bulk went to family members.
“Sherman admitted to writing the unauthorized checks and said he knew it was wrong and he is ashamed,” said a police report.
The VFW used its funds to pay for scholarships for Sultan High School students, to hold a patriotic essay contest for schoolchildren and to support the Junior ROTC program in Snohomish,” said Donahue.
“It’s kind of a setback,” he said. “We are going to try to continue on as best we can. We have some great members in our post.”
Among the veterans belonging to the Sultan VFW are one World War II soldier, several people who served in Korea, Vietnam veterans and some younger veterans of the more recent wars in the Middle East.