Penn Yan Flying Club treasurer faces charges in missing $100,000

Gwen Chamberlain

The New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation is continuing to investigate funds missing from the Penn Yan Flying Club’s treasury, and the club’s leadership is working on a strategy to recover from the loss of funds.

New York State Police Investigator Timothy Randall reports that Steve Rapp, 51, of Canandaigua, was charged with second degree grand larceny, a class C felony and 26 counts of first degree falsifying business records, a class E felony. Rapp was arraigned in Dundee Village Court on Monday, Dec. 1, and sent to Yates County Jail, according to Randall.

Randall said Rapp was the treasurer of the club and had control of the money and the records, but he declined to comment about specific allegations. Randall says investigators have looked at the time period between 2005 and 2008 and estimate at least $100,000 is involved.

Lance McFetridge, president of the Penn Yan Flying Club, released a prepared statement that says in part, “The club leadership and membership are disappointed and saddened by the appearances of a financial impropriety.  We anxiously await the outcome of the current investigation so we may take the appropriate actions for the good of our club and membership. As stated, the Penn Yan Flying Club has been around since 1939 and we will weather this problem and be a stronger organization as a result.”

McFetridge explains during the process of election of club officers, a financial review that is part of the group’s by-laws uncovered “certain financial disparities.”

According to McFetridge, the club was established in 1939.

“Currently, we have an active and vibrant membership. We are proud of our outstanding flying safety record and we are honored to be a contributing member of the greater Penn Yan Community.”

He says he feels the club will weather this problem and become a stronger organization as a result.