Ex-fire chief charged with pension fraud

A former chief of the Hempstead Village Fire Department faces charges for allegedly cooking the department's books to boost his pension.

Lester Arsell is accused of inflating the number of emergency calls he and his volunteer wife responded to in an attempt to improve his pension. An internal investigation alleges he had been pulling the scam for about a year.

Arsell is charged with 16 counts each of first-degree tampering with public records and first-degree falsifying business records, as well as 16 misdemeanor counts of official misconduct and two misdemeanor counts of attempted petit larceny.

DA: Ex-fire chief charged in pension scam

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