Former American Legion commander arrested, accused of stealing nearly $100K

Michael L. McKinnis, 58, is facing one count each of misuse of credit cards, theft, and...
Michael L. McKinnis, 58, is facing one count each of misuse of credit cards, theft, and forgery, court documents say.(Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 1:55 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The past commander of the American Legion Post 744 has been arrested following accusations he stole nearly $100,000 from the group.

Michael L. McKinnis, 58, is facing one count each of misuse of credit cards, theft, and forgery, court documents say.

“In September of 2022, it was suspected that FMR Commander Mike McKinnis was embezzling funds from bar sales, and funds that were donated from a local business that was holding raffles to support a capital improvement campaign at the post,” current Commander Danny Brownfield wrote in a statement.

Brownfield says the business inquired about the funds and asked for bank statements but “an altered statement was provided.”

A vote was taken in October to dismiss McKinnis as commander and finance officer.

“The new financial officer conducted an audit of the financial records that discovered the misappropriation of funds. At the conclusion of the audit it was found that a total of $98,000 were misused,” Brownfield wrote.

“Mike used American Legion funds to pay for Notre Dame Football games, Coney Island season passes, subscription services and personal expenses that date back to May 2019, months after Mike was appointed commander of the American Legion post.”

Brownfield says the post’s financial situation “remains grave” but they are doing enough to sustain.

On Monday, jail records show McKinnis was admitted into the Hamilton County Jail. He was released on his own recognizance.

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