- Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2015

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) - Alcorn County Sheriff Charles Rinehart has pleaded not guilty to five counts related to a bid-rigging scheme.

The Daily Corinthian reports (https://bit.ly/1H4Ahvy ) that Rinehart, 73, waived a formal reading of the indictment this week in circuit court. He pleaded not guilty to five counts of fraudulently obtaining public funds and five counts of false representation to defraud government. Rinehart was freed on $25,000 bond.

Teddy Cleveland Null, 50, and Pamela Denise Null, 24, entered pleas of not guilty to five counts of conspiracy to defraud the state and five counts of defrauding the state by fraudulent representations.

The Nulls were each freed on $25,000 bond.

Judge Thomas Gardner set trial for the November term of court.



Rinehart and the Nulls were arrested in June after a grand jury returned the indictments stemming from an investigation by the state auditor’s office of the sheriff’s department’s purchase of six cars from the Nulls’ business, Cars for Less, during the past three years. The auditor’s office said fraudulent quotes representing other vendors were created by the Nulls and submitted by the sheriff to the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors as competitive quotes.

The auditor’s office said the six vehicles were salvaged vehicles at the time of purchase and were rebuilt with potentially stolen parts prior to being sold to the county.

Rinehart continues to act as sheriff. His term ends in January, and voters will choose his successor in November.

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Information from: The Daily Corinthian.

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