Ex-ambulance official pleads guilty to bank fraud

SEDALIA, Mo. (AP)   The former administrator of an ambulance service in central Missouri has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $227,000 from the service.

The Sedalia Democrat reports that 62-year-old Mike P. Gardner pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of bank fraud. Gardner was initially charged with one count of stealing and 46 counts of forgery.

A statement by the Pettis County Ambulance District board says Gardner became administrator in 2013. The statement says he was arrested in March after the board discovered "accounting irregularities."

The board says Gardner admits to forging board members' signatures on 44 checks totaling nearly $124,000. He also admits to receiving nearly $104,000 in unapproved payroll expenses from 2015-2017.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes its pre-sentence investigation.

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