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Reardon gets five years in prison for embezzling

Former Mathews Volunteer Fire Department treasurer Paul Joseph Reardon was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison, with 15 years suspended, for embezzling $216,500 from his fellow volunteers over a two-year period. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was convicted in July.

Judge R. Bruce Long didn’t mince words when he handed down the sentence. Referring to a letter from one of Reardon’s supporters that said the court should find out what happened instead of persecuting Reardon, Long said, "I’m astonished that they’ve suggested leniency for a common criminal."

Long said that he had reviewed the pre-sentence report the night before and had found a number of mitigating factors, such as Reardon’s more than 30-year career as a Virginia State Trooper, his advanced age (Reardon turns 75 tomorrow), the lack of prior convictions, the fact that he adopted and raised two children, and his long record of volunteerism in his church and the community. B...

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