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NC vet and girlfriend swindled 3 veterans groups, used cash to cover bills, cops say

Mugshots of James Marion Benfield, 65, and his girlfriend, Martha Elizabeth Dixon, 46, who are accused of using thousands of dollars from veterans organizations to pay their personal bills.
Mugshots of James Marion Benfield, 65, and his girlfriend, Martha Elizabeth Dixon, 46, who are accused of using thousands of dollars from veterans organizations to pay their personal bills.

A North Carolina veteran and his much younger girlfriend have been accused of swindling money from three different veterans groups, including a chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, according to media outlets.

James Marion Benfield, 65, of Taylorsville and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Dixon, 46, used the thousands of dollars in stolen money to pay for personal expenses, investigators told The Statesville Record & Landmark.

Both are now facing embezzlement charges, reported the Hickory Record.

The Alexander County Sheriff's Office began looking into the thefts May 29, when the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 84 in Alexander County reported $5,800 was missing, reported WSOC.

Benfield was under suspicion as the group's treasurer, reported Fox 46.

Investigators later discovered Benfield held executive positions with a local American Legion chapter and Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, both of which are now reporting that they, too, have money missing, said the Statesville Record & Landmark.

The total amount missing from all three groups was not divulged.

Benfield is accused of using checks and ATMs to withdraw the money, starting in August, reported the Hickory Record. The withdrawals continued into last month, reported Fox 46.

Benfield, who is charged with three felony counts of embezzlement, implicated Dixon as an accomplice under questioning, reported WHKY. Dixon later said she took some of the money for personal use and was charged with three felony counts of conspiracy to commit embezzlement, the station reported.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs
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