Houston police recently arrested a former firefighter accused of stealing funds from an area nonprofit. The Texas man was indicted on multiple allegations, including a charge for a felony-level theft. He is also facing charges from a May 2018 incident in which he allegedly impersonated a public servant.
The 47-year-old man had been working as a firefighter up until a few weeks before he supposedly impersonated a public servant. He was let go from his position following what was apparently a poor performance review. Weeks later, he posed as a firefighter to try and persuade a woman to provide him with access to a police report.
His more recent criminal charge is related to allegations that he stole $3,000 from the International Association of Firefighters Disaster Relief Program back in 2017. At the time, the nonprofit was providing disaster relief in the form of preloaded debit cards. The $500 preloaded cards were only available to firefighters whose homes suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey. It is not clear how police believe the defendant stole from the nonprofit.
The former firefighter could face severe consequences if he is convicted on his felony theft charge, including a prison sentence as long as 20 years. The stiff penalty is because his alleged crime took place in disaster area. When Texas defendants are facing steep penalties such as this, it is best to not leave things up to chance. An early and timely approach to criminal defense planning can help defendants achieve the best possible outcomes for their individual situations.