Ex-security director at DeKalb hospital used employer funds to buy 100 guns


The former director of security for a DeKalb County hospital pleaded guilty recently to using hospital funds to fraudulently purchase about 100 guns, which he sold for personal gain.

Russell Richardson, 44, of Columbia, S.C., admitted to concocting the scheme, which took place while he worked at DeKalb Medical Center, U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said in a Wednesday news release. The hospital has since been renamed Emory Decatur Hospital.

Through his position as director of security at the hospital, he was authorized to submit purchase requests on behalf of the security department, the release said. He also had the power to approve those requests.

In March 2016, he began submitting requests for firearms, which he subsequently approved, the release said. In July 2017, he escalated his scheme by using the hospital’s official letterhead to place orders directly with the firearms’ vendor, prosecutors said.

As a result, Richardson used hospital funds to buy approximately 100 handguns during a two-year period.

The hospital didn’t know about the gun purchases, however, since Richardson falsified the invoices to show other items being purchased, authorities said.

“The hospital paid the invoices without knowing the funds were actually for the purchase of numerous firearms,” the release said.

Richardson, who taught gun courses in South Carolina, eventually advertised that he had firearms for sale on social media, the release said. He sold many of the them and pocketed the profit, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which investigated the case.

He was indicted last year on several counts of mail fraud, dealing firearms without a license and selling firearms to out-of-state residents, AJC.com previously reported.

RELATED: Former director of security at DeKalb hospital accused of stealing guns, $20K

His sentencing has yet to be scheduled. Richardson’s mug shot was not immediately available.

In other news:

District Attorney Paul Howard said he is charging former Officer Garrett Rolfe with 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault, criminal damage to property and violations to his oath of office.

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