Ex-fire chief charged with embezzlement

Staff report

December 3, 2013

LUMBERTON — A former Robeson County fire chief was arrested Tuesday for taking money from his department, a case the State Bureau of Investigations says it has been pursuing since August.

Bruce Sampson, of Ellis Drive, was indicted by a grand jury for embezzlement and felony larceny, according to Lt. Brian Duckworth, fire investigator for the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Sampson turned himself in, said Duckworth.

According to Duckworth, Sampson embezzled money from the Deep Branch Rural Fire Department, a volunteer department located west of Lumberton, around June of 2007. His bond for that charge is secured at $75,000.

Sampson took money from the department again around December 2009, according to Duckworth. His bond for that charge is secured at $25,000.

Duckworth said he did not know the exact amount taken, but said that it must have exceeded $100,000 given Sampson’s bond and the SBI’s involvement in the case.

Sampson, who had no prior criminal charges, is scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.