A fire chief from New Hampshire was accused of embezzling money, and he has recently pleaded guilty. According to the plea, the amount taken was in excess of $200,000. He has now been told he has to pay the money back, and he is also going to have to spend at least three years in jail.
The man apparently took the money because he was addicted to both drugs and gambling. The money gave him the ability to indulge in these addictions. The man's legal team has said that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is what caused him to become addicted to drugs in the first place.
According to the man's lawyer, his work as a fireman had been traumatizing. Because of the things he'd seen and done, he started to have nightmares. He then got into the drugs because he was trying to find a way to cope with this and to fight off these nightmares.
The money that was taken came from an account belonging to the firefighters' relief association. The man had access to the checks for this account, so he simply wrote them out in his own name, cashed them, and used the money as he pleased.
Additionally, it seems that some money from from a local hospital, which was not meant to go to the firefighters, was then diverted and sent to their account instead. This gave the chief access to even more money than should have been in the account to begin with.
Those who are accused of crimes and decide to plead guilty, as was the case with the fire chief, must know their legal options and exactly what entering such a plea will mean.
Source: CentralMaine.com, "Former Skowhegan fire chief sentenced to NH state prison," Doug Harlow, July 02, 2015