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Ambulance company owner faces jail, restitution

The former leader of a Northland-area ambulance company has been ordered to pay criminal restitution after he was convicted of misusing public information. The man, age 40, will also be required to spend about two weeks in jail and serve a full year's probation in connection with the criminal activities, according to local media sources.

Authorities say the man bought land he knew could be used for a future ambulance station site. He then sold the land to the Northland Regional Ambulance District for a substantial profit, violating a slew of ethical codes. The man pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

The man has been ordered to repay more than $100,000 within the next month. He will also be sent to jail for 15 days. He also must pay more than $600 to the area prosecutor's office in connection with the case.

Courtroom documents show that the man had purchased 34 acres near Interstate 29 in April 2010. He then sold some of the land to the ambulance district in March 2011, reportedly pulling in about $144,000 in profits in connection with the sale. The man, who had been serving as a leader with the group since 2006, knew that the ambulance company was looking to branch out into the area as early as 2008. The group began searching for available property in September 2010, and board members decided to purchase land from the suspect later that year.

Additionally, bids were solicited for public property in the target area, but the ambulance company leader was the only person to submit an application for the land development.

In this case, the man's guilty plea likely saved him significant jail time. He was able to plead down to a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony, and he is only serving a few days' jail time. The restitution is among the most difficult components of the man's sentence, but he should be able to pay the amount using the large profits he obtained during the recent land sale.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Former Northland ambulance district president is sentenced to jail, must pay restitution," Glenn E. Rice, Dec. 6, 2012.

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