IBB file civil suit against First Federal

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2002

The Ironton Band Boosters are moving forward to seek financial compensation from banks Elizabeth Keating used to allegedly embezzle money from the boosters.

Friday, January 25, 2002

The Ironton Band Boosters are moving forward to seek financial compensation from banks Elizabeth Keating used to allegedly embezzle money from the boosters.

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The boosters have filed a lawsuit against First Federal Savings Bank in Ironton. The bank allegedly allowed Keating access to booster money, a privilege the band boosters didn’t allow her.

Keating allegedly sent a letter to the bank dated March 5, 1999 that appeared to be written by booster president Jeffrey Massie. Massie said he didn’t sign the computer-generated letter and was unaware that it was sent to the bank. The letter listed the officers of the boosters, including Keating who held the treasurer position for the organization, a position she held for about three years before 1999 and held until 2001.

Three days later, Keating went to First Federal and signed for an $8,000 loan using booster’s certificate of deposit as collateral. The loan was signed by Keating, who allegedly claimed she was acting as an agent of the band boosters.

Keating also allegedly withdrew $3,650 from the booster’s account at the bank.

In a letter from the band boosters dated Jan. 4, 2001, signed by Massie, Keating is listed as the treasurer, but was excluded from signing any bank documents, listing the booster’s president, vice president and secretary as the ones who can sign on behalf of the boosters.

Massie said the boosters didn’t know about the loans until after last year’s shooting, which Keating was convicted of attempted murder.

On the morning of the shooting, Massie said he was on his way to her office at M&M Reality to pick up a check to get office supplies need to conduct an annual audit the boosters conduct. Later, the facts about the loan began to surface. Massie said he received a letter of interest from the bank and then "knew something was wrong."

Massie said the audits from the last year, during the time Keating allegedly took the money from the bank, didn’t reveal the theft. "Everything looked fine," Massie said, adding that Keating had continued to list the bank accounts as normal, without listing the loans or deductions.

The boosters, Massie said, is seeking their money back from the bank. In the lawsuit, David Reid Dillon, the attorney for the boosters, said "the actions of Elizabeth Keating were undertaken without real or apparent authority to do so and defendant First Federal violated the contract between it and plaintiff in so allowing the pledge and loan without authority and defendant First Federal was reckless and grossly negligent in doing so."

Massie said that even though the booster suffered a lost, the group has kept going in stride. Massie said shortly after learning that the money was missing from the organizations accounts, the boosters organized a fund raiser to pick up the pieces. Massie said the band boosters were indebted to the board for the band’s new uniforms and in hoc to area vendors for bills not paid to them. The booster, Massie explained, pays for all the trips the band takes, including football games and competitions, and pays for the equipment.

"Our board has treated us fantastically," Massie said, about the booster’s agreement to pay for the uniforms. He added that local vendors have also been supportive. "Not one of them wouldn’t help us…it meant a lot to us."

Massie said suits against other banks are pending. A lawsuit filed in July of last year in the Clerk of Courts office also listed Liberty Federal Savings and Loan and National City Bank in as defendants in a suit.

Attempts were made to contact Kevin Waldo, the bank’s attorney, but a secretary said he was out of the office.

A suit outlines the grievances of one party against another. It does not establish guilt or innocence.