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Ex-Clemson Official Arrested On Embezzlement Charge

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The former finance director of the city of Clemson, South Carolina has been arrested and charged with embezzling public funds.

Thomas A. Sparacino, 61, of Central, S.C. surrendered to agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) early Tuesday morning and was booked in the Pickens County detention center.

According to an affidavit accompanying Sparacino’s arrest warrant, the veteran bureaucrat allegedly used credit cards “issued to him by the City of Clemson for purchases and charges of a personal nature and then use(d) City of Clemson funds to pay off the balances on the credit cards.”

An audit conducted by the city of Clemson revealed Sparacino allegedly embezzled approximately $125,000 in public funds between June of 2011 and February of this year.  SLED investigators uncovered expenses for “vehicle repairs completed at Jaguar, Porsche and Volvo of Greenville for vehicles registered to Sparacino, device and iTunes purchases from Apple, merchandise purchases from Amazon, and monthly cellular service charges from AT&T and Verizon Wireless.”

Here’s the warrant and the affidavit …

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(Via: SLED)

As with any suspect accused of committing any crime, Sparacino is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his peers (or until he makes a public pleading in connection with the case).

Embezzlement of more than $10,000 in public funds is a felony.  If convicted, Sparacino could face up to ten years in prison and fines “in proportion” to the amount of the money he allegedly embezzled.

Sparacino’s case will be handled by the office of South Carolina thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins.

We’ll continue to keep tabs on this developing situation in the event additional information becomes available …

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