Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

January 15, 2014

Carroll sentenced in bank fraud, identity theft case

By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — The former administrator of the Bluefield, Va. Rescue Squad was sentenced Tuesday on federal charges of bank fraud and identity theft, United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said.

Thomas Franklin Carroll, 48, of Bluefield, previously pled guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of identity theft, according to Heaphy. He was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to 45 months of federal incarceration, four years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $204,490 in restitution.  

 “Mr. Carroll stole money from an organization tasked with providing needed assistance in medical emergencies,” Heaphy said in a prepared statement. “He abused the trust placed in him by the rescue squad, and used their scarce resources for his personal gain. The sentence imposed today appropriately recognizes the seriousness of Mr. Carroll’s crime.”

 According to evidence presented in court Tuesday, Heaphy said Carroll was employed as the administrator of the Bluefield, Va., Rescue Squad in Tazewell County from 2005 to June 2011. Between October 11, 2008 and October 23, 2011, Heaphy said Carroll incurred personal credit card charges on at least four of the squad’s credit cards without authorization to do so from the squad’s board of directors.    

In addition, in May 2011, Heaphy said Carroll obtained a loan from a bank without authorization to do so from the squad’s board of directors and deposited some of the proceeds of the loan into the squad’s account.

Charlie Stacy, a member of the squad’s board of directors and the Eastern District member and current chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, said the squad has been working in recent years to recover from the losses.

“As a (squad) board member, we would certainly want to thank the Virginia State Police, the Tazewell County Commonwealth Attorney’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Abingdon for their prosecution of this case,” Stacy said. “We are pleased to bring this case and this chapter from the Bluefield, Va., Rescue Squad to a conclusion. We certainly have mixed feelings for Mr. Carroll has performed many years of valuable service to members of the Bluefield, Va., area and Tazewell County, but his actions had devastating consequences on the Bluefield, Va., Rescue Squad. But we are pleased to report that the Bluefield, Va., Rescue Squad over the past few years has achieved financial independence and is financially strong and continuing to provide emergency services to members of the Eastern District of Tazewell County.”

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com