Police said they are investigating the embezzlement of $50,000 from the Edmond Masonic Lodge.
Little information is available from the Police Department, which released a public incident report stating that the alleged embezzlement occurred between Jan. 1, 2009, and ended Aug. 31, 2012.
More information came from a letter posted on the organization’s website from Edmond Masonic Lodge leader Mike Dixon informing members about the discovery that significant missing funds had drained their treasury and charity fund account.
“The individual responsible has admitted taking the funds, and we are proceeding to see that he is held accountable for his actions by turning the matter over to the Edmond Police and pursuing all means available to recover as much of our money as possible,” Dixon reported.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said no arrests have been made yet.
“We are working on the documentation provided and actively investigating,” Monroe said.
In the post, Dixon stated that when the facts became fully known to the lodge, leadership learned that it did not have enough in the bank to pay bills for the balance of the year.
The treasurer’s records were such that copies of transaction records for 2009, 2010, 2011 and the first seven months of this year had to be obtained from the lodge’s banking institutions, Dixon reported.
As the records were reconstructed and examined more closely in determining the extent of the losses, leaders discovered that for some number of years the dues income was insufficient to meet annual expenses, Dixon stated.
The annual deficit was being absorbed by the organization’s limited cash reserves. “The fact that the treasurer had not provided the Lodge with accurate and detailed records prevented us from knowing the extent of the annual deficits until now. The embezzlement and subsequent review of our records brought this to light,” the letter states.
“I have appointed a committee to review the ways and means for our Lodge to meet its fixed expenses,” Dixon stated. “Over the last few years, we have already eliminated any discretionary spending from our budget.”
Dixon informed members that all options are on the table including a possible increase in annual dues. Member input is critical and solicited, he stated. He urged members to contact one of the officers or email comments to email@example.com.
“We must work together to find a solution,” Dixon stated. “Please join us as we work through this difficult situation.”
Despite the loss of funds, the lodge is not completely destitute due to generous contributions of several members, the Edmond Rainbow and DeMolay chapters and a donation from Frontier Lodge, Dixon stated.
“These contributions are only a short-term remedy and will hopefully get us through the rest of this year,” Dixon stated.
Masonry is the world’s first and largest fraternal organization. It is a body of knowledge and a system of ethics based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to improve himself while being devoted to his family, faith, country and fraternity, the group’s website states.
Masons give back to their communities, and support numerous Masonic philanthropies. They routinely invest in children and their neighborhoods, according to the organization’s website.
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