Friday, December 2, 2022

FBI: Argyle fire chief used $500k of district funds for personal credit card bills

Argyle Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger was indicted Friday on federal violations for theft and misuse of funds.

Hohenberger, 63, who has been with the Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 (formerly known as the Argyle Fire District) for 30 years, was named in a federal indictment returned by a federal grand jury Thursday and charged with multiple federal violations, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Texas. The Federal Bureau of Investigation searched the ESD’s offices and arrested Hohenberger when his flight from Las Vegas landed at DFW Airport on Thursday afternoon.

According to the indictment, Hohenberger, while fire chief, is alleged to have taken money from the operating account of the fire district (which received federal funds in the form of Medicare reimbursements) and used over $490,000 of those funds to pay personal credit card bills. The personal credit card expenses included cash advances at casinos, payments related to a family member’s business in Hawaii and other personal uses, according to the indictment.

Hohenberger is also alleged to have failed to fund firefighter retirement accounts in the time required by federal regulations and thus embezzled or stole the funds, and that he made false statements related to the firefighter retirement plan on a form submitted to the Department of Labor.

A former fire department engineer is suing Hohenberger and the district, claiming he was terminated after asking too many questions about late/missing pension fund payments.

If convicted, Hohenberger faces up to 10 years in federal prison. He was planning to retire at the end of this year.

The district operates out of three fire stations and provides fire and EMS services to over 48,000 residents in Argyle, Bartonville, Copper Canyon, Corral City, Lantana, Northlake, and surrounding areas.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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