Ex-West Virginia cabinet chief pleads guilty to embezzlement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — The former cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance has pleaded guilty to embezzling from a volunteer fire department where he handled financial affairs.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Huntington said 64-year-old Clifford Keith Gwinn admitted embezzling $178,790 from the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department and agreed to pay restitution. He also pleaded guilty Tuesday to a related tax crime and agreed to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $68,000.
Prosecutors said in a news release that Gwinn was vice president and fiscal officer of the fire department. The embezzlement occurred from 2013 to 2016. Gwinn was veterans assistance secretary from 2011 to 2013.
Gwinn’s wife, 52-year-old Kathy Sue Gwinn, was sentenced Monday for embezzling $75,000 from the fire department. She must spend five weekends in jail, serve 10 months’ home confinement and pay restitution.