The former director of Rockbridge County Fire and EMS has been indicted on charges of loan fraud and forgery; authorities have also uncovered several other wrongdoings in connection to the case.
Brandon B. Mitchell, 43, obtained a $30,000 loan from the Bank of Botetourt, using his 2016 Porsche Cayenne SUV as collateral for the loan, only to later sell the car without the bank’s knowledge, according court documents.
Further investigations also revealed that the county pay stub which was submitted in the bank loan application was altered to make it seem as if he earned more that he actually did.
As police searched through Mitchell’s office in the county administration building, they uncovered forged court documents that cleared Mitchell of earlier charges he faced for misappropriating more than $2,000 from his previous job as the battalion chief of the Jackson County Fire Department. In a bid to conceal this previous indictment, Mitchell forged the court records and when asked about the case in his job interview at Rockbridge County, he lied, stating that the case had been dismissed and expunged.
Meanwhile, the charges are still pending at the Jackson County Circuit Court in Oregon, where Mitchell is charged with six felony counts of theft, credit card fraud and computer crime. Indictments allege that he stole more than $2, 000 in fire department funds by making personal purchases on a county- issued credit card.
Oblivious of his legal battles, the Rockbridge County hired Mitchell in October 2014 to serve as the Fire and EMS director. It was not until March 2015 when the attention of an investigator with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles was attracted to the luxury SUV, a brand-new Porsche Cayenne that is worth about $ 58, 000, being used as collateral in obtaining a $30,000 loan from the Bank of Botetourt.
Shortly after the loan release, two lawsuits were filed by the Bank of Botetourt and the DMV agent, accusing Mitchell of selling or transferring the vehicle while its title was held by the bank. And the whereabouts of the vehicle is still yet to be known.
Mitchell, who is currently free on a $ 20 ,000 bond, had declared on his bail papers that he owns a 2008 Audi , a 1999 Ford and a 2002 Yukon. There is no mention of the Porsche.
Mitchell will be appearing at the General District Court where he will be facing charges of obtaining money by false pretenses, fraudulent conversion of property and four counts of forgery.
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