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NC fire loss estimated at more than $3 million

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ASHEVILLE — Authorities say millions of dollars in damage were caused by a fire that destroyed the home of a North Carolina businessman who pleaded guilty to operating video poker machines illegally.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports Tuesday that a fire early Sunday destroyed the more than 6,600-square-foot home of Jackie Shepherd. Madison County Sheriff John Ledford estimated losses at more than $3 million, and authorities are trying to find a cause.

Shepherd pleaded guilty in March 2008 in federal court to operating video poker machines illegally. His plea was part of an investigation that resulted in the conviction of former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford and four of his top deputies.

Shepherd had to pay the government a little more than $1 million.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Authorities say millions of dollars in damage were caused by a fire that destroyed the home of a North Carolina businessman who pleaded guilty to operating video poker machines illegally.

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