JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A former administrator of an ambulance district has been sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole for embezzling more than $227,000.

Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Michael Paul Gardner, of Sedalia, was sentenced Tuesday for bank fraud after embezzling from the Pettis County Ambulance District. He also was ordered to repay $227,649 to the district. He became administrator of the Pettis County Ambulance District in December 2012.

The investigation began when ambulance district board members contacted Sedalia police after being notified by a bank about suspicious activity on the district’s accounts.

Prosecutors say Gardner admitted that he forged board members’ signatures on 44 checks and received unapproved payroll expenses from 2015 to 2017, and then deposited the money into personal bank accounts.