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Former Charlevoix County employee pleads not guilty to embezzlement charges

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A former employee with the Charlevoix County veterans affairs committee, pleaded not guilty in district court on April 16 to 27 charges of embezzlement by a public official.

Joshua Galle was accused of misappropriating over $1,300 worth of vouchers meant for veterans. The $50 vouchers were intended to be used at Meijer stores to purchase things like food and clothing.

According to an affidavit from Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Kit Tholen, the county was alerted to the issue after the Emmet County Veterans Affairs had noticed a voucher that appeared to have been distributed in 2022 to a veteran who had passed away in 2021.

Between February and September of 2022, Galle had “issued” 27 vouchers to veterans–two of which were dead.

A detective investigating the case reported that he had spoken with the veterans and their family members regarding the vouchers, however, they all stated they had never received a voucher and that they were not aware of the voucher program.

Tholen said the charges have come as a shock to the community.

““This offense in particular is especially upsetting for myself and many other people, not just because it was taxpayer money that was taken, not just because it was a person in a trusted position, but because of where this money was intended to go--needy veterans.”

Galle is scheduled to appear in court again in the coming weeks. If found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

An attorney representing Galle did not respond to our request for comment.

Renae is a newsroom intern covering northwest Lower Michigan for WCMU.
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