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Former NC fire chief pleads guilty to embezzlement

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The former fire chief of Mint Hill has pleaded guilty to embezzling $225,000.

Jeremy K. Russell pleaded guilty on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte to a single felony count of embezzlement.

According to prosecutors, Russell used his position as chief of the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department to steal by creating a sham medical supply company and creating fake invoices.

Russell then approved the fake invoices, with the town sending checks for payment to a postal box Russell controlled.

A federal indictment said Russell used the stolen money to fund a lavish lifestyle and a gambling habit.

Russell’s embezzlement conviction carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He has also agreed to pay restitution.

Credit: The Associated Press.