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Fire district treasurer accused of stealing $427K

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A former treasurer for a Kansas rural fire district is facing federal charges accusing him of stealing more than $427,000 from his employer over a five-year period and leaving the district unable to pay its bills.

Prosecutors say 67-year-old Holton resident Richard Bontrager was charged Tuesday with one count of embezzlement. He is accused of making unauthorized transfers from the Mayetta Rural Fire District's bank account into an account belonging to him and his wife at the same bank from 2008 through 2013.

Bontrager, who had served as treasurer since 1994, also is accused of issuing checks with forged signatures of board members payable to a fictitious entity he created.

Nobody answered a phone at his home, and it was unclear in online court documents whether he had an attorney.