Former Bucks fire officials accused of pocketing more than $46K

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Gary Margerum (left) and Christopher Carlin are charged with stealing more than $46,000 from the Falls Township Fire Company #1, police said.

Two former presidents of a Falls Township fire company are accused of siphoning more than $46,000 from their department and using the money for personal expenses that included shopping trips to Home Depot and a house rental at the Jersey Shore, police said.

Christopher Carlin, 48, and Gary Margerum, 61, were charged Monday with theft by unlawful taking, according to a criminal complaint filed in Bucks County.

The men served separate terms as president of Falls Township Fire Company No. 1, with Carlin succeeding Margerum after he resigned in 2016, according to the complaint. Carlin was removed from his position in December.

Their colleagues at the fire company alerted county detectives in January, after an internal investigation detected some issues with the department’s accounting.

“Today, justice was served as those two former members were arrested,” the township supervisors said in a statement Monday. “Those two members not only violated the public trust, they violated the trust they shared with their fellow firefighters.”

Authorities said the two used company credit cards in their names to make unauthorized purchases. Carlin spent $24,688.96 that way, they said, and wrote $8,690.13 to himself in unauthorized checks from a company account.

Margerum made $9,279.74 in unauthorized purchases using his credit card, and spent $400 on power washers using the company’s Home Depot credit card, investigators said.

Additionally, the men cosigned a $3,035 withdrawal used to rent a house at the Shore that they told their colleagues “was gifted by a vendor,” according to the complaint.

Carlin and Margerum were arraigned early Monday and face preliminary hearings July 25. It was not immediately clear whether they had lawyers.