DAILY GAZETTE
Schenectady, NY
February 22,2006

EDINBURG

Fire company claims swindle

The Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company may be out a $55,000 down payment for a new truck following the death of a salesman with a history of embezzlement.

According to a lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County, the fire company contracted to buy a tanker firetruck last June, and in October gave a $55,000 deposit to salesman Ronald Fahd. The fire department is suing Danko Emergency Equipment Co. of Nebraska.

Fire Company Treasurer John English said he was directed by Fahd to write the check to Fahd rather than the company he represented and that's what was done.

The owner of the company, Daniel Kreikemeier, said he never received the order, and the check should have been made out to his company.

"The fire department wasn't buying the truck from [Fahd], they were buying it from our company," said Kreikemeier. "Mr. Fahd was an independent broker who worked on a commission."

Speaking from his Snyder, Neb., office Tuesday, Kreikemeier refused to say whether the Edinburg's complaint is the only one he has received about Fahd.

But state police said there were other cases involving volunteer emergency companies and Fahd, including one in the village of Brooktondale in Tompkins County.

Police said Fahd committed suicide in November.

He was a former Colonie town councilman and was sentenced to six months in Albany County jail in 1998 after admitting he stole more than $12,000 from the Colonie Pop Warner Youth Football program.

Kreikemeier said he had not been notified of the lawsuit pending in Saratoga County.

The fire company's attorney, Timothy Horigan, said he was not able to comment on the case because he has yet to speak with the representatives of the company.

English said the check written to Fahd was cashed, and it represented years of savings by the Edinburg Fire Co.

"It's difficult to raise $55,000 when you only have 1,300 yearround residents in a town," said English.

He said the fire company had borrowed the remaining $100,000 needed to pay for the firetruck, which was to have been delivered by now.