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Volunteer firefighter faces fuel fraud charges

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CASTALIA — A Nash County volunteer firefighter faces felony fraud charges after sheriff’s deputies say he charged gas for his car to the Castalia Fire Department over a six-week span.

Matthew Dean James, 30, of the 3800 block of Old County Home Road, Nashville, was arrested Friday on 10 counts of obtaining property by false pretense, a Class H felony.

The Castalia Fire Department’s president, A.C. Daniels, requested a Nash County Sheriff’s Office investigation Aug. 29 after discovering inconsistencies in the department’s fuel transactions, Chief Deputy Brandon Medina said in a news release.

Deputies said James admitted to charging gas for his personal vehicle to the fire department’s account on 10 occasions. James had been a Castalia volunteer firefighter since 2017.

James was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond and his first appearance in Nash County District Court was scheduled for Tuesday.

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