Tennessee residents may be interested to know that according to the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, federal program fraud and wire fraud charges have been brought against a former Mt. Juliet police sergeant. The 40-year-old former police sergeant served on the Mt. Juliet police force as a supervisor of the Crime Suppression Unit. Specifically, he was tasked with preparing and maintaining time cards as well as overseeing, managing and maintaining the overtime logs of police officers that were supporting and assisting investigations conducted by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force is a federal program launched by the U.S. Justice Department that is aimed at directing federal resources to help combat the flow of illicit drugs and controlled substances across the country, as well as to identify and break down drug trafficking organizations. The former police sergeant has been accused of submitting fraudulent time card reports as well as fraudulent overtime logs for over 500 hours of overtime that he allegedly did not actually work. Authorities allege that in total, this amounted to well over $12,000 in claimed overtime pay.
Initially the former sergeant was fired for falsifying his time cards, but no charges were brought against him because it was considered employee misconduct. However, once the Mt. Juliet police Chief was made aware of the misconduct, a full investigation was launched, which uncovered the scope of the former sergeant's alleged misdeeds.
If he is convicted, he could potentially face up to 10 years imprisonment for federal program fraud portion of the charges in addition to potentially another 20 years of imprisonment for the wire fraud charges, and up to a quarter of a million dollars fine for each charge.
In general, for anyone facing federal crime charges, it is very important to understand that these are very serious charges with long-term consequences for the individual facing them. These should not be taken lightly under any circumstance. Having an aggressive criminal defense to fight for one's rights is crucial during such cases.
Source: Lebanon Democrat, "Ex-Mt. Juliet police sergeant faces federal charges," July 14, 2015