Alcorn sheriff charged with fraud, conspiracy in car purchase sc - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee


Alcorn sheriff charged with fraud, conspiracy in car purchase scheme

Sheriff Reinhart (Source: Alcorn County Sheriff's Office) Sheriff Reinhart (Source: Alcorn County Sheriff's Office)
ALCORN COUNTY, MS (WMC) - Investigators arrested Alcorn County Sheriff Charles Rinehart and the co-owners of Cars for Less, Teddy Null and Pamela Denise Null. A Grand Jury indicted each of them on 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering uncovered that the Alcorn County Sheriff's Department bought six cars from Cars for Less over the last three years. Teddy Null and Pamela Denise Null are accused of creating fake quotes from other vendors to make sure that Cars for Less provided what appeared to be the lowest price for the vehicles. Sheriff Rinehart then presented the quotes to the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors.

Pickering also says that the six vehicles from Cars for Less were salvaged cars, rebuilt with possibly stolen parts before Teddy and Pamela Denise Null sold them to the County. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is working to determine whether the vehicles contain stolen parts.

“Based on our investigation, Sheriff Rinehart used his position to manipulate the system,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said in a written statement. “Teddy Null and Pamela Denise Null conspired with the Sheriff to ensure their company received the Sheriff's business, while not disclosing the condition of all the salvage vehicles to the County. In addition, our investigation has uncovered questions relating to the business operations at Cars for Less in Alcorn County. The behavior of the Sheriff and this vendor is deplorable and will not be tolerated.”

Sheriff Rinehart also received an unrelated fine of more than $181 thousand on June 18 for misappropriated funds in his department.

While Rinehart is currently out of jail, he faces some hefty charges.

"That person is someone in control over a town or a county," Alcorn County resident Billy Castill said. "That makes the sheriff's deputies look bad too."

Rinehart was first elected in 2008, but will not seek reelection this year.

Neither Sheriff Rinehart nor the Nulls were willing to speak on the matter.

"Everyone should have to pay their time for doing something wrong," Castill said. "You play with fire, you will get burned eventually."

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