Assistant chief embezzled $30,000+ from fire department, Hoke County officials say

RAEFORD, N.C. (WNCN) -- An ex-assistant chief of a Hoke County fire department embezzled at least $30,000 from the department, officials announced Tuesday.

The investigation into money missing from Pine Hill Fire Department accounts began on Dec. 1, 2017, according to a news release from Hoke County Sheriff Hubert A. Peterkin.

Christopher Martin Duffell, 32, of Falling Leaf Drive in Raeford is facing 30 counts of embezzlement, the news release said.

Duffell was working as the assistant chief of the department from October 2016 through November 2017, which is when officials say the embezzlement happened.

Duffell had been with the Pine Hill Fire Department for seven years, but is no longer employed there, officials said Tuesday.

Duffell is also charged with four counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of insurance fraud, deputies said.

The investigation involved the Hoke County Sheriff's Office, the Hoke County District Attorney's Office and the North Carolina Department of Insurance.

Peterkin said that the investigation is continuing and that there might be more arrests.

Duffell is being held on a $150,000 secured bond.


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