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Former St. Paul’s fire district chief, Summerville woman convict - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Former St. Paul’s fire district chief, Summerville woman convicted in fraud, kickback scheme

Doc McNeil Matthews (Source: Live 5 News) Doc McNeil Matthews (Source: Live 5 News)
Former St. Paul's Assistant Fire Chief Charles Riddle (Source: St. Paul's Fire Department) Former St. Paul's Assistant Fire Chief Charles Riddle (Source: St. Paul's Fire Department)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC/AP) -

A former St. Paul's Fire District Chief and a Summerville woman were convicted Friday in connection with a kickback scheme.

Former St. Paul’s Fire Chief Doc McNeil Matthews, 47, and Mary Jo Thomas-Delaney, 67, were convicted of defrauding St. Paul's Fire District by inflating contract payments to Thomas-Delaney's company, Grant Services LLC, and splitting the excess, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors say the theft involves a $1.6 million federal grant to build a new fire station.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division. The investigation was initiated at the request of the St. Paul’s Fire District Commission after audits disclosed financial irregularities.

The pair faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine, authorities say.

In Dec., a Charleston Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment charging Matthews, Assistant Chief Charles Riddle, and Thomas-Delaney with fraud and embezzlement from a federally funded organization. 

Riddle pleaded guilty in April and agreed to testify. Riddle will face a fine and pay more than $3,500 in restitution after participating in the scheme.

Copyright 2017 WCSC/AP. All rights reserved.

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