Former fire chief accused of stealing more than $100k from local volunteer fire deparment

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SOPHIA, WV (WVNS) — A former fire chief is indicted for reportedly stealing more than $100,000 from a volunteer fire department.

Investigators with the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office charged Kenneth Churning with three counts of Felony Embezzlement, and three counts of Felony Fraudulent Schemes. Churning is accused of stealing from Sophia City Fire Department.

The indictment alleged Churning took a total of $133,454.58 from the fire department. That total includes $118,509.47 in ATM and cash withdrawals, $13,740 in cash back transactions, and personal expense reimbursement of $1,205.11. The alleged theft happened from July 2017 through December 2019.

Churning was indicted by a Raleigh County Grand Jury on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. Churning has not been arraigned yet. The grand jury will convene in May.

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