Firefighter Admits Setting Land On Fire To Get Paid To Put It Out

A fireman in Cherokee, North Carolina is in hot water after he admitted to starting fires in the area. Raymond Swayney was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a temporary firefighter for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian land in case of an emergency. Apparently, those emergencies didn’t happen often enough for Swayney.

According to Swayney, he worked with others to set up to seven fires in the area between 2010 and 2014. He was then able to clock in hours putting out those fires, getting paid to clean up the mess he started. In the end, he and his conspirators burned 420 acres of tribal land.

firefighter starts fire
(Photo: Facebook / Middle Creek Volunteer Fire Department)

When the 31-year-old was hired he would only be paid for the number of hours he worked putting out fires, including time devoted to post-fire maintenance. He stayed in the position for a few years, doing his part. However, it seemed that he and others didn’t feel that there were enough fires to put out.

Overall, Swayney cost the government more than $100,000. He was charged and pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to set timber afire and one count of defrauding the United States. Though he has yet to be sentenced, it’s likely that he will be facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


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[H/T Huffington Post]