Hancock man charged in embezzlement scheme from local Masonic lodge


A Hancock man was served Monday with a criminal summons after local police investigated missing funds from a local fraternal organization.

John Philip True, 62, of Heavenly Acres Ridge Road in Hancock, was charged with allegedly stealing over $17,000 from the Hancock group.

In July 2019, the Hancock Police Department opened a theft investigation at the request of the James Bowers Masonic Lodge in reference to missing funds from the bank accounts and certificate of deposit accounts.

Hancock Police Chief Jim Robison said the investigation revealed that True was treasurer for the Masonic Lodge at the time of the suspected thefts and used funds from the lodge accounts to cover bills and bank accounts at another organization in which he was the treasurer.

True was also the treasurer of the Tonoloway Rod & Gun Club in Hancock. According to reports, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department is investigating financial irregularities reported by that club.

In all, the total amount of funds stolen from the local Masonic lodge is believed to be in excess of $17,000, according to police.

True was served a criminal summons Monday, June 1, with multiple charges.

Those charges include one count each of theft under $25,000, theft scheme under $25,00, and embezzlement; three counts theft under $1,500; and four counts less than $100.