Deputy Chief of Fire Department Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Embezzling Funds
Montgomery, Alabama - Angelia Curran, Deputy Chief of the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department and resident of Smiths Station, Alabama, pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama to federal charges for embezzlement of federal funds, United States Attorney George L. Beck, Jr., announced today.
A federal grand jury indicted Curran for theft of federal funds and Curran pled guilty before a federal judge. Curran worked for the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department (“FVFD”) and submitted grant applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) pursuant to FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters - Fire Prevention and Safety Grant Programs in 2005. The grants were for money to purchase, among other things, personal protective equipment for FVFD personnel and items for general fire prevention/awareness for children. FEMA awarded the FVFD over $120,000.00. Between July 2006 and April 2007, Curran embezzled and stole $28,386.27 of these FEMA grant funds. Curran has agreed to repay the $28,386.27 to FEMA.
“Volunteer fire departments are essential for the protection of our citizens in rural communities. To take grant money from a volunteer fire department could have put those rural citizens in harm’s way. Curran was trusted with these funds and our office will continue to prosecute those people who are trusted to provide services and abuse that trust,” said U.S. Attorney George L. Beck.
“As a general matter, the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General remains vigilant in seeking the prosecution of those, who attempt to defraud our government and federal programs, such as FEMA to the fullest extent of the Federal law,” said James E. Ward, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General.
This case was investigated jointly by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jerusha T. Adams.
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