Former Wethersfield Ambulance Chief Accused of Stealing from Volunteer Ambulance Association

The former chief of the Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance Association (WVAA) is making nearly $100,000 of unauthorized purchases on the association's credit and debit cards. 

Police charged 48-year-old Philip J. Lombardo, of Wethersfield, with one count first-degree larceny on Monday, March 13. Lombardo is accused of using the association's credit and debit cards for purchases benefiting himself, including funeral expenses for his brother and niece, several meals and hotel rooms, from January 2011 to August 2016. 

According to arrest documents, the WVAA did not have a finance committee, which is required by law, for many years to balance the books every quarter. When the committee was formed in May or June of 2016, questionable purchases were found on the association's ExxonMobil card used to fill the group's SUV with gas. 

The committee also found that two more cards had been open on the assocation's ExxonMobil account that were not authorized by the board of directors during the time that Lombardo was chief. 

The initial review discovered that gasoline purchases were made out-of-state while Lombardo was vacationing in New Hampshire in April 2016.

A deeper investigation found in 2011, Lombardo spent nearly $12,000 on expenses related to the funerals of his brother and niece. The transaction include hotels room in Maine, "memorial" dinners, Netflix, obituaries, tent rentals and payments at churches and cemeteries. 

Police found that, including the funeral expenses, Lombardo had made at least $77,088 worth of unauthorized purchases and questionable ATM withdrawals totalling $21,852.

Part of those expenses also included a running tab Lombardo had at Village Pizza, where he would bring crews or his family, in addition to a couple of home deliveries. 

Lombardo was released on $100,000 court-set bond and is scheduled to appear at Superior Court in New Britain on March 27.

Lombardo had served as the chief of WVAA for 10 years and dismissed in June 2016. 

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