Former Swormville Fire captain pleads guilty to department theft

Oct 30, 2019

A former captain at the Swormville Fire Department has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $24,000 from the department.

Credit Swormville Fire Department

The Erie County District Attorney's Office says Brent Dewitt, 36, of East Amherst pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court Wednesday to one count of grand larceny in the fourth degree and one count of falsifying business records in the first degree, both class E felonies.

Between November 2018 and April 2019, the DA says Dewitt made numerous unauthorized transactions with the fire department’s credit card, sending the money to his personal PayPal accounts. The captain attempted to cover up his criminal actions by submitting falsified receipts for those transactions.

PayPal has reimbursed the funds and frozen assets in Dewitt’s accounts to cover their loss. He was placed on administrative leave when the theft was initially discovered and he has since been removed from the fire department.

Dewitt faces a maximum of 4 years in prison when he is sentenced in January. Until then, he is released on his own recognizance.