Commander: Dick Huffine 1st Vice: Pat Keels 2nd Vice: Steve Carper
3rd Vice: Lewis Woodard Adjutant: Ed Effinger Finance: Jim Bowes
Chaplain: Ned Young
Commander: Fellow Legionnaires.
STATE OF AMERICAN LEGION POST 11
Fellow Legionnaires: Instead of a newsletter this month, I am giving you a recap of the state of the Post as of November 1, 2016. All members need to know where the Post stands yearly, and I hope my successors continue with a yearly report such as this.
In view of all the details not being presented in the past, I will review the events starting in the spring of 2014.
In March of 2014, the financial state of the Post was in dire circumstances!
1- The Post was showing a negative balance of $20,000 in the bank.
2- Post 11 had borrowed $20,000 from various sources i.e. the members drawing fund, the charity fund and another veteran’s organization to make payroll.
3- Post 11 was actually within 30 days of closing the doors.
4- Post 11 was in violation of the charitable gambling contract with American Legion Charities Inc. This resulted in an audit by the attorney general’s office in February of 2015 and a billing from the state for $19,000 to make up the charities not submitted per contract. This was reduced to $2,700.00 after negotiating with the state and proving our donations.
5- The federal income taxed withheld from the employees was late being sent to the IRS and penalties were being filed against Post 11.
6- The financial management of the post displayed little or no checks and balances with all transactions being conducted by one person.
In April of 2014, one officer change was made, and the officers in place at that time are still in place with the exception of Steve Carper being elected as second vice-commander in the spring election of 2015.
Approximately one month was spent looking for obvious large losses which we could not find. In May of 2014, we decided to move forward with management changes and regaining fiscal stability.
With the help of all employees, officers, the SAL (they loaned us a large amount to pay off a loan at another veteran’s organization) and the members, in December of 2014, we had paid back all loans, we were current with all monthly invoices and had approximately $12,000 in the bank. At that time, I did not realize the IRS problem was building, because the bookkeeper was reporting that all taxes had been paid.
Throughout 2015 until September of 2015, Post 11 made a monthly profit, resurfaced the parking lot, installed extra security cameras and all monthly invoices were current.
In September of 2015 Post 11 received a certified letter from the IRS notifying us that a levy was going to be executed against us for over $9,000 for penalties on failures to properly handle the taxes. Upon questioning the bookkeeper, we found that she had been in communication with an IRS officer on this matter but never made the E-Board or officers aware of this. Our finance officer-Jim Bowes- and I immediately started looking into the tax problems and found that the bookkeeper had several files on taxes and had received several letters from the IRS concerning tax penalties.
In November of 2015, I was informed by the prosecuting attorney’s investigator and a bank vice president that our bookkeeper had embezzled money from another local company and they suspected that she was stealing from Post 11.
I was told that I could not dismiss the bookkeeper, because of an ongoing criminal investigation. I immediately met with Jim Bowes and we started looking at everything dealing with the post’s money. Through the next months, Jim Bowes and I together spent over 1200 hours looking at over 7000 documents to uncover all the deficiencies with the post’s money.
In December of 2015, with the approval of the prosecuting attorney’s office, I dismissed the bookkeeper, hired a CPA to look into the tax problems and create monthly reports for the post and started doing the bank deposits myself with the help of Jim Bowes.
In reviewing the bookkeeping which had been conducted, we found the following:
1-From the canteen side of the register, we found that the drawing
money was rung into the register and coded “drawing” so it could be put into the drawing account.
2-From the gambling side of the register, if we paid out more than we received, the negative amount was taken from the canteen to make it up. By law, Post 11 has to donate 25% of its gambling profit to charities. This procedure was affecting our canteen profit by reducing the overall canteen receipts and then giving away 25% of it.
The new money handling procedure-developed by Jim Bowes and I- corrects these items by paying daily winners by check out of the Drawing fund and putting all “drawing” rings into the Drawing checking account. The gambling side of the register has been corrected by depositing the money from the closed games weekly and maintaining a gambling “bank” in the safe.
In January of 2016, Post 11 paid nearly $20,000 in IRS penalties due to embezzlement and poor tax bookkeeping. All of this has been submitted for abatement and, if approved, refunds will be made to Post 11. We also found in January of 2016 that applications for gambling and liquor licenses had not been placed and that we were late in getting them. The state charitable law section assisted us in getting our licenses renewed without penalties after they were made aware of our bookkeeping problems.
In August of 2016 our former bookkeeper was sentenced and the judge ordered that she be responsible for all IRS penalties and interest. With this information the IRS abated $9,380.00 penalties and interest still owed from our 990 forms and $1,600.00 which was already paid on the 990 penalty. The $1600.00 was assigned by the IRS to reduce a penalty from 2012 for not sending the w-2 forms as required. We received $27,710.00 from the bonding company in August 2016 for the proven amount embezzled from Post 11.
As of November 1, 2016 Post 11 has $68,271.00 of spendable assets in the bank with additional cash assets of $3,000 for operating banks. Post 11 is current with all obligations except a $5,125.12 IRS penalty from 2012. This is being forwarded to the IRS in November 2016 and a request for abatement is following the remittance.
Post 11 is also waiting on a contract from Westerman to receive more land adjacent to and behind us. The attainment of the land will not affect Post 11’s financial status thanks to the negotiating performed by Jim Bowes and Terry Newman.
To recap, American Legion Post 11 has –in spite of all the problems- increased our financial status from a negative $40,000 in 2014 to a plus $71,971.00 in November of 2016. In addition to this gain, Post 11 has improved our insulation to reduce utility bills, refinished and painted the parking lot and kept current with all maintenance and repairs.
I have to thank the most professional group of employees, officers and executive board I have ever worked with for achieving these outstanding improvements in the past two and one-half years. I also sincerely thank all the American Legion members, the SAL members and the Auxiliary members for their support in all the changes we have implemented to achieve our present position.
Sincerely, Dick Huffine, Commander
FROM 3rd Vice : For the ones who bought Bricks they are in by the flad pole they look good. We are still selling them, get your order form from the bartender. The cost is only $30.00, And thank you who bought them. Lewis Woodard 3rd Vice
FROM AUXILIARY PRESIDENT.Hi Everyone, Well we are getting ready to start the Holiday Season. First off don't forget the Early Bird Dinner Nov. 16 at 6.00 p.m. Next the Auxiliary will be putting out a Storage Storage Tote to collect Non- Perishable goods for the Holidays for a needy Families. It will be in the corner of the Social Room hopefully. Thank You in advance! Last is the Christmas Party on Dec 15 at the v.a. hospital anyone can go. Just let Tammy Dillon or myself know if you would like to go Jodie Keels Auxiliary President
FROM THE SOCIAL ROOM Happy Holidays to all of our members. We have so much planned please see the board or pick up a bulletin so you are aware of all functions! Thank you to our staff we have been extremely busy and they are doing wonderful keeping up! Please introduce yourself to our two new barterders Sandy and Sue they are doing a great job. I will get asign up sheet ou January 1st for New Years eve. Steve is planning a great party with really good entertainment. Thank You Georgia
RICHARD M. "DICK" SIMOND 17 JULY 2016 MICHAEL YAKUBIK 23 JULY 2016
KENNETH L BROTHERTON 18 AUG 2016 RALPH W ALTEN 16 SEP 2016
JERRY H FAHRER 16 SEP 2016 EDWARD H KONKLER 23 SEP 2016
OWEN E CLARK 24 SEP 2016 ROBERT E FRENCH 3 OCT 2016
DALE B SPAUN 4 OCT 2016 JOHN C WOODARD 5 NOV 2016
LIOYD K HILLIARD 27 OCT 2016 GEORGE M ROWE 25 NOV 2016
THOMAS F CROOK 21 NOV 2016