Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Setting Fires So He'd Get Paid
A 31-year-old Cherokee man in North Carolina pleaded guilty Monday to setting seven fires in order to get paid for putting them out, the Charlotte Observer reports. Part-time firefighters hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs only get paid for the hours they spend fighting fires or doing maintenance on equipment afterward.
According to WYFF, Swayney allegedly set the seven fires between 2010 and 2014. They burned 420 acres of land on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian reservation and cost $106,000 to put out. Swayney is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on charges of conspiracy to set a timber fire and conspiracy to defraud the US.