Friday, November 30, 2007

Maine Mason convicted of embezzling $430K from fraternal groups

A 76-year old "model citizen" of Portland, Maine has been sentenced to nine months in jail for embezzling at least $430,000 from his Masonic lodge, a Masonic temple board, a Masonic learning center and another fraternal organization of which he was a member, the Boston Globe reports.

Bro. Bob Libby's lawyer says he needed the money to take care of his sick wife. The money is now spent, and the Libby's are living on a small Social Security check.

His friend since high school, Jack Gray, discovered the crime, and says Bro. Libby is a "con artist."

Libby took money repeatedly between 1999 and 2006. His wife, Charlotte, didn't become ill until 2002, three years after Bro. Libby began embezzling the funds of the fraternal groups.

Bro. Libby's daughter, teacher Susan Jodice of South Windsor, Connecticut, told reporters, "We had absolutely no idea. It just blew us away. This is not a person that is a thief. I don't condone anything that he did. Not any of it. The funny thing is, he brought me up not to condone anything like that."

The website for Deering Lodge No. 183 lists Robert W. Libby as having served as Worshipful Master in 1970.

UPDATE, Friday, November 30: I was informed today by a past master of Deering Lodge that Bob Libby was expelled from the fraternity by the Grand Lodge of Maine in May, 2007.

Image: Deering Lodge No. 183, Portland, Maine

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  1. I have a comment. It is really sad that this man who lost his way in the world. I feel bad for him and wish he never made his grievous errors, but agree with his daughter. I condone none of his misdeeds.

    Of course, money will corrupt people. I've seen this happen to all kinds of people in all kinds of positions. In Freemasonry, lots of money exchanges hands in the philanthropic areas. It's no big surprise to hear this, although I wish it was. Despite this, the Masonic Shrine still donates millions of dollars to help children with operations they could not afford otherwise. The other bodies do much also. No group with resources is immune to this kind of villainy. Only those with nothing to steal have no fear of theft.

  2. Damn. I wish our lodge had even a quarter of that amount to steal.

    That must be the one good thing about being a poor lodge: it doesn't matter who minds the books :-\

  3. "Damn. I wish our lodge had even a quarter of that amount to steal."

    Lots of lodges have that much. It's amazing that more isn't stolen, really. Guess Masonry works.

  4. There is a lot of money in Freemasonry. It's actually unfortunate in a way, because the brethren have little opportunity to make a difference. On the other hand, they don't have to spend their own money. That is kinda nice


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