CHARLESTON, S.C. — A former fire chief and businesswoman are convicted of stealing from a rural, cash-strapped fire district in South Carolina by submitting fake invoices for a new, federally funded station.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that former Fire Chief Doc McNeil Matthews of Hollywood and Mary Jo Thomas-Delaney of Summerville were convicted Friday of defrauding St. Paul’s Fire District by inflating contract payments to her company and splitting the excess.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says each faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The fire district serves a mostly poor area of Charleston County.

Prosecutors say the theft involves a $1.6 million federal grant to build a new fire station.

Former Assistant Fire Chief Charles Riddle pleaded guilty in April and agreed to testify.

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