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California man to plead guilty to firefighting grant fraud

May 15, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors say a Northern California man hired to administer federal firefighting grants will plead guilty to charges that he submitted $500,000 in false reimbursement reports over a five year period.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento said Wednesday that it had charged 40-year-old Samuel Thomas Lanier with seven counts of fraud.

Prosecutors say that Fire Chiefs Associations in Siskiyou and Shasta counties hired Lanier to administer Federal Emergency Management Agency grants for beefing up fire protection and prevention in a region where wildfires are common. The grants also aimed to ensure that firefighters were on duty 24-hours a day in each county.

Prosecutors say Lanier submitted false claims for goods and services he said were incurred administering the loans.

Court records don’t indicate if Lanier is represented by an attorney.