[FONT=Helvetica,Helv,Geneva,San Serif,Geneva]Ambridge VFW post missing about $150,000[/FONT] [SIZE=-1]By Brandon Keat TRIBUNE-REVIEW Friday, February 24, 2006 [/SIZE] About $150,000 is missing from the coffers of VFW Post 165 in Ambridge, and post commander Bob Larnish said no one knows why. "I want to know where the money went," Larnish said Thursday. Beaver County detectives are investigating the finances at the VFW after Gerald Turner went to them with his concerns about missing money. Turner is a member of the Hopewell VFW post and a long-time member of the weightlifting club that is sponsored by the Ambridge post and shares a Duss Avenue building with it. Turner said he got involved when the Ambridge VFW's bills repeatedly went unpaid. He began looking into the club's finances, and found that it was inexplicably in debt. He said only $1,800 worth of expenses from a $30,000 loan could be accounted for, and two bank accounts -- a savings account that once held $60,000 and a "sick fund" that once contained $18,000 -- were empty. He said the club seemingly also had nothing to show for money taken in at the bar and at fundraising events between 2000 and 2004. Turner said that since almost all the financial records appear to be missing or destroyed, it's hard to gauge exactly how much was stolen. Larnish estimates it at about $150,000. "The bank accounts are actually dry. There is nothing in the bank account," said Larnish, who was appointed commander of the post two months ago. He said the $30,000 loan was to be used for building repairs that were never done. Larnish said county detectives are working on getting their hands on the canceled checks written on the club's accounts. "I don't know who signed for those checks, and I don't know where the money went," he said. Beaver County detectives could not be reached for comment. Turner said the post's former quartermaster, or treasurer, has refused to attend meetings as they try to determine what became of the club's money and records, and the former commander is deceased. Brandon Keat can be reached at [email protected] or (724) 779-7113.