By MELINDA WILLIAMS
The man who has somewhat served as the face of Pulaski Moose Lodge 2687 over the past decade is being accused of embezzling more than a quarter million dollars from the organization.
Eddie “Pudgie” Edwards of Pulaski was indicted by a Pulaski grand jury on 15 counts of embezzlement, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The indictments allege Edwards, through his position as administrator of the Moose Lodge, used unauthorized credit or debit cards “improperly issued to him” to misappropriate $297,065 from the lodge between December 2007 and April 2013.
According to The Southwest Times’ archive, Edwards had served as administrator of the lodge since about 2004. He often represented the lodge when it made charitable donations. He is no longer a member of the lodge.
Neither Edwards nor lodge representatives could be reached for comment.
Edwards has until Nov. 7 to report to the court whether he will hire an attorney or seek court-appointed representation. A trial date is to be set Dec. 3.
The indictments charge Edwards with embezzling the funds through the use of around a dozen accounts associated with debit and credit cards issued primarily by Bank of America. One charge alleges $85,102 was embezzled through an account with National Bank.
In some instances, funds were allegedly obtained through cash withdrawals. In one instance, it is alleged $2,930 was obtained from “Bank of America overseas transactions” and another alleges $40,219 was associated with a “Bank of America withdrawal VA Travl.”
With money raised through its Friday night Bingo games, the Moose has given back to the community in the form of numerous donations to fundraisers and charitable organizations over the years. In 2011 it returned $90,000 to the community, according to a past story in The Southwest Times.
Other indictments handed down by the Oct. 14 grand jury were not available and are under seal until Nov. 4.