BURLEY — A commander of a Mini-Cassia veterans group is accused of taking between $11,000 and $12,000 from the group without authorization over the span of a year.

Paul David Bell, 49, of Burley, faces one count of felony grand theft. A preliminary hearing in Cassia County Magistrate Court is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 12.

Bell was commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which is part of the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization, from January 2017 to January 2018, according to court records.

The organization bylaws say officers must have two signatures for expenses, which also must be approved by a vote.

Bell is accused of violating the bylaws and exceeding his authority when he took the money.

Bell told police he used some of the money he took from the organization to help a person he had met online.

The discrepancy in funds was found through an internal audit. Bell took the money through various forms and did not have the authority to use the money for any purpose, records said. The various forms used to take the money were not disclosed in court records.