Strafford County sheriff faces eight felony charges

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DOVER –– Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brave was arrested and charged with eight felonies in relation to the alleged misuse of county credit cards, announced New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella.

Charges against Brave include one count of Theft by Deception, two counts of Falsifying Physical Evidence, and five counts of Perjury. Brave is accused of stealing around $19,000 in county funds by submitting personal expenses with fraudulent justifications, falsifying physical evidence, and lying before the Strafford County Grand Jury.

“The decision to charge an elected constitutional officer was not made lightly,” said Formella. “However, no person is above the law, and the evidence in this case required action.”

The affidavit alleges that Brave used county funds for personal expenses such as airfare, hotel stays, and dinners during trips to Boston, Florida, and other locations. He is also accused of falsifying a receipt to hide the identity of a female companion and submitting false justifications for reimbursement.

Brave is also charged with lying during his testimony before the Strafford County Grand Jury on several matters. These include denying that a female employee stayed in the same hotel room as him during a trip to Florida and falsely stating that he attended events for a non-existent law enforcement organization.

Additional allegations involve a supposed meeting with U.S. Representative Chris Pappas that records indicate never took place, and a dinner cruise and hotel stay in Boston, which he allegedly attended with a paramour under the guise of a charity event.

Sheriff Brave, released on a personal-recognizance bond, could face up to 31½-to-64 years in prison and fines of up to $32,000 if convicted on all counts.

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