Former Fire Chief charged with embezzlement, fraudulent schemes

West Virginia

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — A former volunteer fire chief has been indicted for stealing from the Town of Sophia Volunteer Fire Department in Raleigh County.

Investigators with the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office say Kenneth Richard Churning, 60, took a total of $133,454.58 from the fire department from July 2017 through December 2019. Officials say the total was made up of $118,509.47 in ATM and cash withdrawals, $13,740 in
cashback transactions, and personal expense reimbursements totaling $1,205.11.

“This case is one of many where we worked with our local partners in the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the Raleigh County Prosecutor, Sheriff’s Office, Fire Coordinator’s Office and the Town of Sophia. It takes so many players to come and work together to move complex cases forward – and that is what we all did here leading to this indictment.”

John B. McCuskey, State Auditor

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