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Surry County commissioner pleads guilty to fraud charges

DOBSON, N.C. (AP) — A Surry County commissioner accused of filing fraudulent travel expense reimbursements for years has pleaded guilty to four felony fraud charges.

Multiple media outlets report that Commissioner Paul Johnson pleaded guilty Tuesday in the Surry Superior Court in Dobson to four counts of felony obtaining property by false pretenses.

North Carolina Attorney General’s office spokeswoman Noelle Talley confirmed to WXII-TV that Johnson has not yet been sentenced. Records of Johnson’s plea have been sealed.

County officials discovered in March 2014 that Johnson had submitted questionable travel claims for mileage reimbursements. Johnson has served as a commissioner since 1995.

Under state law, each count of obtaining property by false pretenses could yield a prison sentence of up to three years and three months.

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