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Director of Finance for the Valley Forge CVB
 Admits to Writing $775K in Checks to Self

By Peter Mucha, The Philadelphia InquirerMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

May 12, 2010 --Over 13 years, William Barnes of Norristown misappropriated more than three-quarters of a million dollars while director of finances for the Valley Forge Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman charged today.

Barnes, of Norristown, was expected to turn himself in today to face arraignment on charges that include theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, and forgery.

Between January 1996 and February 2009, Barnes wrote 293 checks, totalling $775,509.44, to himself, then altered electronic and other records to cover up the thefts, the prosecutor's office said.

After Barnes retired, an audit discovered that facts and funds didn't add up.

Barnes has admitted to the thefts, saying most of the money went for supporting his wife and children, according to Vetri Ferman.

A room tax on visitors funds the visitor's bureau.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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