BELFAST — Frankfort resident David Oakes, 57, was indicted by a Waldo County grand jury March 23 for writing a bad check and for embezzling around $70,000 from the Searsport Historical Society.

The thefts came to light when one of The Historical Society’s checks bounced, prompting the bank to call officials in the organization to let them know the account was overdrafted, according to Searsport Police Chief Todd Boisvert.

He started an investigation into the alleged embezzlement last July, he said. “It’s just unfortunate that someone would take advantage of someone’s trust,” he said. In his investigation, he uncovered $68,677.88 that Oakes is accused of stealing, but he is unsure if that is the total amount. Historical Society members are still submitting information to him.

Oakes’ alleged embezzling dates back to July 5, 2010, according to court documents. Historical Society member Karen Kelly said Oakes had been with the organization since roughly 2008. The situation has been hard for members because members trusted him so much, she said. “We trusted this person and we shouldn’t have, I guess.”

Rosemarie Guimaraes, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case, is working with the organization to recoup their losses, Boisvert said. Oakes is charged with negotiating a worthless instrument for writing a bad check for $8,000 and theft by deception for embezzling from the Historical Society for over a decade.