GEORGE—A 48-year-old rural George man has been accused of stealing more than $26,000 from George Emergency Medical Services.

Chad Alan Wessels has been charged with one Class C felony count of first-degree theft.

He is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids.

Class C felonies are punishable by a state prison term of no more than 10 years and a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000.

While he was the treasurer for GEMS from February 2014 to September of this year, Wessels allegedly issued himself $18,081.09 in unauthorized checks from Feb. 1, 2017, through June 20 of this year.

“Wessels could not provide support for the payments and admitted that they were to cover personal expenses,” according to court documents.

He also admitted to taking cash deposits from the annual GEMS fundraiser.

“Cash deposits from the fundraiser stopped in 2016,” according to court documents. “Before this, approximately $2,000 a year was received. From 2016 through 2019, it is estimated that Wessels took $8,000 in cash.”

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office started the investigation before handing it off to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation in September.

Wessels was charged on Monday, Dec. 2, and a warrant for his arrest was issued on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

He was taken into custody on Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Rock Rapids and was released later from the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids on a $10,000 bond.