Pat Green resigned his position as Sheriff of Franklin County at the beginning of last year. The day after his resignation, the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) confirmed that a substantial amount of money was missing from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and that a fraud investigation was under way.
Former Sheriff Green pleaded guilty to two felony embezzlement charges late last week related to the SBI’s investigation. He faces between three and five years in prison for taking over $200,000 from the Sheriff’s Office and using it to “pay bills and buy things for the kids.”
Had the North Carolina embezzlement case been taken to trial, Green may have faced more than 10 years in prison if convicted.
Among the money Green embezzled was funding that was intended to be used for undercover drug buys as well as money that had been collected as evidence in drug cases. Green was able to secure the money from the County finance office by claiming that it was being used for an investigation into alleged drug offenses by two senators and a county commissioner.
The drug money that was taken from the evidence locker is money that would have eventually been passed on to the school district.
Green agreed to pay back all $221,000 to the county as well as an additional $18,000 to the Franklin County School District.
Green addressed the court, taking full responsibility for the criminal acts against the County and the taxpayers, admitting that he abused his position of trust by embezzling funds meant to stop crime. “Those of you that hate or wish ill will toward me, I can’t blame you,” said Green.
Source: WRAL.com, “Former Franklin sheriff pleads guilty to embezzlement,” August 17, 2012