A former North Carolina fire chief is facing embezzlement charges. The former head of a volunteer fire department has been accused of taking at least $100,000 from the organization, based on reports of the charges filed against him. The grand jury returned a true bill on embezzlement and larceny charges against the Robeson County fire chief, meaning he was indicted on the financial crimes. He self-surrendered to authorities after the indictment.
According to the indictment, the financial crimes took place between 2007 and 2009. As with many cases that involve financial fraud or “white collar crimes” such as embezzlement, the investigation has been ongoing since August. News reports do not state whether the former fire chief was aware of the investigation, but our advice to anyone in a similar situation is to contact an attorney right away – do not wait until after you have been indicted to get an attorney on your side.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you during the investigation phase preceding federal criminal charges, white collar crime allegations and internal investigations. You are not without rights simply because you are under investigation or are the recipient of a target letter from a federal grand jury. An attorney on your side can protect your rights, prevent you from making the case against you any stronger (incriminating yourself) and potentially limit the scope of the investigation.
In some instances, an attorney on your side early enough in the process may mean that you avoid the official filing of criminal charges. An attorney may also be able to negotiate for a reduction in felony larceny or embezzlement charges down to a misdemeanor offense, limiting any jail or prison time that would result from a conviction.
Source: News & Record, “Ex-Robeson fire chief charged with embezzlement,” December 4, 2013