Former Atlanta CFO indicted for fraud, having machine guns

ATLANTA (AP) — The former chief financial officer for the city of Atlanta has been charged in a federal indictment with crimes stemming from his time in office, including allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the city for personal expenses, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

A grand jury on Tuesday indicted Jim Beard on eight federal charges including wire fraud, theft from the government, possession of machine guns, making a false statement, and obstructing federal tax laws, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

Beard served as the city’s chief financial officer, managing Atlanta’s financial resources, from 2011 to 2018. An attorney listed as representing Beard in online court records, Scott Grubman, did not immediately return a message left with his office.

“Jim Beard allegedly abused his position as one of the most powerful executives in the City of Atlanta to commit federal crimes for his own gain, including stealing tens of thousands of dollars of the public’s money, possessing machine guns that members of the public cannot have, and obstructing an IRS audit,” Pak said in a statement.

Investigators say Beard used his position to defraud the city and obtain money and property for personal use, including travel expenses for himself and family. He is also alleged to have used money to buy two automatic weapons for personal use and to have pocketed money that he was reimbursed for travel and conferences by organizers.

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