When David Bertnagel was arrested for embezzling more than $800,000 from the Town of Plymouth, he used some of the stolen money to purchase Hummel figurines and Annalee Dolls.
According to the criminal complaint, from July 2014 to October 2014, Bertnagel was employed as the Finance Director for the Town of Plymouth.
It is alleged that Bertnagel issued 207 checks totaling approximately $808,030 from the Town’s payroll account to himself.
Bertnagel used the embezzled funds to make mortgage payments, pay credit card bills, fund home improvement projects and purchase more than $100,000 in coins, stamps and other collectibles.
So what are Hummel figurines and Annalee Dolls?
Hummel figurines are a series of porcelain figurines based on the drawings of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel.
The sketch art of Sister Maria Innocentia began to appear in the 1930s in Germany and Switzerland, mostly pastoral drawings of children.
Hummel figurines have been referenced multiple times in popular culture. On the television series Seinfeld in the episode “The Pony Remark”, there is a reference to Jerry’s auntie’s Hummel collection and in Glee, the character “Kurt Hummel” is named for the Hummel figurines.
Annalee Dolls is a company located in Meredith, New Hampshire, that manufactures collectible dolls. The company was founded by Barbara Annalee Davis. The popularity of Annalee Dolls led R. Stuart Wallace to write that “the most famous manufactured item to come from New Hampshire in the 20th century is the Annalee doll.” Annalee Dolls have reached up to $6,000 at auction.
Annalee dolls are bendable felt-bodied dolls, with a painted face that is similar to the face of Annalee. The dolls can range in height from a few inches to 6 feet tall. Dolls can range in theme from elves, to one of many different types of animals, to clowns.
NBC Connecticut reported “When investigators questioned one of Bertnagel’s friends, she described the house Bertnagel shares with his mother as a “museum” full of collections.
Inside the house, she said, there were more than 200 Coach purses, several Hummel figurines and dolls in a large room on the first floor of the house.”