Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that t
The former treasurer of the Malverne Fire Department was arraigned on corruption charges for allegedly stealing more than $30,000 of department funds by fraudulently writing and cashing checks to himself and using the department’s debit card to make ATM withdrawals.
Richard Bopp, 45, was arraigned on February 8 before Judge Madeleine Petrara-Perrin on three Class D felony charges — corrupting the government in the third degree, third-degree grand Larceny and second-degree forgery — as well as falsifying business records in the first degree (an E felony) and official misconduct (an A misdemeanor). Bopp pleaded not guilty and was released to pre-trial services. If convicted, Bopp faces a maximum of 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. He is due back in court on February 16, 2024.
Bopp became treasurer of the Malverne Fire Department in April 2021 after serving as chief of department from 2019 to 2021. In August 2023, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office was contacted by an attorney representing the Incorporated Village of Malverne alleging that Bopp had stolen funds from the fire department after an audit revealed irregularities in MFD bank statements.
An investigation revealed that between July 7, 2021, and May 1, 2023, Bopp allegedly wrote and cashed five MFD checks to himself that were not authorized totaling more than $5,000.
As Treasurer, Bopp had the authority to write checks on behalf of the MFD, but it was required that checks be approved by a council and must have two signatures to be valid – the signature of the treasurer and a signature of either a chief or deputy chief. According to the investigation, none of the checks were approved by the council and it is alleged that Bopp forged the signatures of the second endorsees.
Bopp is also alleged to have withdrawn nearly $20,000 at ATMs and made nearly $5,000 in unauthorized purchases on a debit card belonging to the MFD. Many of the ATM withdrawals were made at out-of-state casinos where the MFD was not conducting any business. Social media posts also show Bopp traveling in the locations where the alleged fraudulent ATM withdrawals were made.
“Richard Bopp served for more than five years in high-ranking positions in the Malverne Fire Department (MFD) and in 2021, allegedly began using his standing and access to steal government funds,” said Nassau DA Anne Donnelly. “Bopp allegedly forged signatures, wrote himself checks and made dozens of debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals in locations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City totaling more than $30,000. The Malverne Fire Department depends on these resources to serve the surrounding community and respond in a crisis. This defendant’s alleged actions siphoned precious funds away from that essential objective.”