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Home  |  News  |  Two former Gaston officials sentenced to prison

Two former Gaston officials sentenced to prison
Thursday, April 25, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — Two former Gaston town officials were sentenced to prison Thursday for misuse of public money.

“This is just plain stealing,” Circuit Judge George James said. “Nobody can fancy it up.”

Former Mayor Larry Sharpe was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for what prosecutors say was taking phony expense account payments.

Former town administrator Jennifer Poole was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $44,000 in restitution.

Sentencing will occur later Thursday for Jessica Poole, former town clerk of Gaston and daughter of Jennifer Poole.

The sentences came after assistant solicitor Robert Elam said the full amount taken will never be known but said conservatively it is more than $72,000 involving all three defendants.

About three-quarters of that total was taken by Jennifer Poole, Elam said.

Attorneys for Sharpe and Jennifer Poole had asked that the sentences be served under house arrest or in the county jail, since both defendants have serious medical problems. But the judge said he couldn’t excuse them from spending time behind bars.

Sharpe and the Pooles each faced up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The sentences conclude a saga of missing money and financial mismanagement that has haunted the Lexington County town for six years.

The three pleaded guilty separately in October to breach of trust over $5,000, after earlier resigning their posts prior to being charged with misuse of public money in April 2008.

Source: http://www.thestate.com/2013/04/25/2741674/two-former-gaston-officials-sentenced.html

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