The money was being siphoned for more than a year before the Veterans of Foreign Wars noticed.
Signs started to show up in April 2014 at the Tacoma post.
Checks bounced. The power company threatened to shut off the electricity. A roof contractor complained about not being paid.
Members decided to confront the then-treasurer at its next meeting.
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But the 45-year-old resigned his post the day before and never showed up for the meeting.
An investigation determined the treasurer, who was elected as quartermaster, stole more than $56,000 from July 2013 to April 2014.
He used it to buy a Costco membership, pay a veterinary bill for his cat and buy items for his personal business, court records show.
Now, Pierce County prosecutors have charged the man with first-degree theft. He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 21.
VFW is a nonprofit veterans service organization.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653