Former Georgia Fire Chief Convicted of Extortion


AUGUSTA, GA  – A former Augusta fire marshal has been convicted of Federal Extortion charges.

Jason Baron Beard was found guilty of six counts of Extortion and one count of Attempted Extortion in Augusta’s Federal Court on Thursday.

Prosecutors say Beard took money from two Augusta night clubs by threatening to enforce fire regulations.

According to court documents, the night clubs were operating over fire safety capacity.

The clubs in question are Level 9 Bar and Grill, on Damascus Road, and Rendezvous at the Three, on Gordon Highway.

Beard is free on bond until sentencing. The sentencing date has not been announced.

The former fire marshal is facing heavy fines and up to 20 years in prison for each extortion charge.

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