|Published:||Feb 11, 2011 12:13 AM EST|
|Updated:||Feb 10, 2011 9:12 PM EST|
LEE COUNTY- Moore Haven's city attorney says the arrest of 61-year-old accountant Phil Bennett is a shock.
"Those who knew Phil; he was a pretty straight up guy in terms of dealing with him," Steve Ramunnin says.
Bennett is accused of stealing or misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars from several local rotary clubs - $62,000 from commissioner Frank Mann's campaign fund and more than $200,000 from the city of Moore Haven. Bennett was the city's financial advisor for several years before anyone realized there was a problem.
Rammuni says, "It's just coincidentally that the city's auditor is a member of that rotary. Once he heard something about Phil Bennett, then he went back into the books."
According to arrest records Bennett was using the money to fund his accounting firm. He reportedly paid back funds to the Rotary and Commissioner Mann but still owes Moore Haven more than $170,000.
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