Tag Archives: fraud

Las Vegas SWAT Team Commander Under Investigation For Financial Exploitation of Elderly Couple

Lt Tom Melton LVMPD SWAT Commander Elderly Exploitation

Last week, it was announced that Lieutenant Tom Melton had been placed on administrative leave (AKA paid vacation) as the result of a criminal investigation. Melton is the commander of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department‘s SWAT team. He’s also been one of the public faces of the LVMPD, oftentimes being interviewed by local media and frequently providing briefings at crime scenes.

Initially, Metro declined to give any details about what the nature of that investigation was. However, soon after his suspension was announced a search of public records indicated that he has ties to a woman already facing over 200 charges of defrauding elderly people placed under her care. Lt. Melton had been appointed as legal guardian and trustee for Jerome and Beverly Flaherty, an elderly couple, who have since died. April Parks, the woman previously charged, was awarded co-guardianship of the Flahertys with Melton.

In March, Parks was indicted on charges including perjury, racketeering, filing false records, theft and exploitation, as part of a for-profit professional guardianship service. Parks has been characterized as the “ringleader of a small group” that included her husband; Gary Neal Taylor, an attorney named Noel Palmer Simpson, and her office manager; Mark Simmons. All four have been accused of taking advantage of the guardianship system to exploit and defraud the people placed under their supervision.

After confirmation was received that Lt. Melton was in fact the focus of an investigation into exploitation of an elderly couple, his attorney denied that he was involved in the fraud. Instead, he maintains that he had only hired Parks to care for the couple, whom he describes as friends of Melton. No other details relating to the nature of the investigation into Lt. Melton’s involvement have been released by the LVMPD.

Of course, it very well could be that he had no involvement in the fraud Parks and her partners are accused of. However, the timing of the suspension could potentially indicate otherwise. The fact that the other people involved were indicted in March and Melton didn’t come under investigation until the end of July would seem to imply that there’s more to it. It’s also a bit contradictory that none of the family members of the hundreds of other victims Parks exploited appear to be under investigation.

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Update: Sixteen Arlington TX Cops Allowed to Resign Instead of Facing Charges for Writing Fake Tickets

In December, I posted about what was at the time 12 Arlington Texas cops who had either been fired or resigned for turning in fake tickets they had written to people that didn’t actually exist, oftentimes using the same license plate number in the imaginary citations. Their actions were discovered when department supervisors attempted to review dashcam video from the stops. That footage obviously didn’t exist, since they weren’t really stopping anyone. Apparently, the reason behind these phantom traffic stops was in order to keep up with department quotas.

Via the Star-Telegram:

They are accused of lying about traffic stop reports, tampering with governmental records, and conduct unbecoming a police officer, the press release said.

Their cases have been forwarded to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine if criminal charges will be filed.

Two of the fired officers are also accused of not being truthful in their testimony with internal affairs investigators…

The accused officers reported on their in-car computers that they had made a traffic stop at a particular address but did not give any names, a source close to the investigation had said.

The allegedly falsified stops were discovered when supervisors could not find accompanying dash cam video of the stops.

Officers are required to report driver demographics, the reason for the traffic stop, whether an arrest occurred and whether a search was conducted during the stop, said Cook, the police spokesman. That data is used to compile the department’s annual racial-profiling report.

Earlier this month, it was announced that all 16 of the officers originally suspected of writing fake tickets have been given plea deals to either avoid being indicted or have previously filed indictments dismissed in exchange for resigning and giving up their peace officer licenses, thereby preventing them from working as police officers again.

Via Fox4News.com:

Roughly nine months after 16 police officers were placed on leave during an investigation into fake traffic stops, all of them will avoid prosecution.

Eleven of the officers agreed to plea bargains early on and gave up their peace officer licenses to avoid indictments.  Five of them were actually indicted but later took the same deal to have the indictments dismissed.

“Dane Peterson, Dace Warren, Brandon Jones and Chris McCright were indicted for tampering with a governmental record in multiple indictments,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “Chris Dockery was indicted in one multiple count indictment. All of the officers agreed to give up their TCOLE licenses, and we have dismissed the indictments against each other.”

There’s no mention of the investigation that should be taking place into the illegal ticket quotas imposed by the department that apparently led to the fake ticket scandal in the first place. Of course, that might be the reason that all these cops who were caught red handed breaking several laws got a deal which prevents them from needing to testify in court about it during their trials.

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Update: Florida Cop Who Tried to Murder 79 Year Old Woman Worked as Male Prostitute While On Duty

Last week, I posted on the CopBlock Network about Frankie Bybee, a Sarasota County Sheriff’s deputy who extorted cash from an elderly woman then tried to murder her in a staged suicide attempt once she filed a complaint against him. In the process, he also sold her dog on Craigslist, after charging her $1,000 to care for it while she was in the hospital.

Yesterday, an Internal Affairs report in the case was released. Not only did it contain new details concerning the original charges, including surveillance video of Bybee using the victim’s ATM card to withdraw money, but it also included some new revelations about “business deals” he was involved in.

Along with ten additional charges related to his use of the debit card and fraudulent online purchases Bybee made, Deputy Bybee is also facing new accusations that he acted as a male prostitute while on duty. The latter claim involves him having been paid to have sex with a woman, as well as to record videos of himself masturbating in his patrol car. The woman came forward after seeing media coverage of his charges for the murder attempt.

Via ABC Action News in Tampa:

According to the report, a woman, Elinor Jarvis, came forward and told detectives that they were “involved in an ongoing ‘business deal” for several years that included Dep. Bybee being financially compensated for engaging in sexual acts with her.”

The report said he met her years ago in a hotel room near Boston, Massachusetts and was paid $5,000 for their “initial sexual encounter.”

The report also said that Bybee would record himself in a sex act in his patrol vehicle while on duty and send the video to her via an app called “Tango” and then she would transfer $500 into his PayPal account.

The total payout, according to law enforcement, for these acts was more than $100,000.

The sheriff said Bybee’s actions were first brought to their attention on Jan. 9. That is when Marcia Sohl filed a complaint against then deputy Bybee.

Bybee, according to Knight, responded to a call for service at Sohl’s home on Oct. 21. He befriended Sohl and began to take advantage of her. Investigators released video they say shows Bybee withdrawing money from ATM’s across Sarasota using Sohl’s stolen debit card. In one transaction, Bybe is in uniform.

On Tuesday, Bybee was charged with ten new counts of Criminal Use of Information that involves several unauthorized uses of the victim’s credit card.

Also, according to the report, just prior to the murder attempt Bybee had used the original victim, email account to send a message to her doctor pretending to be her and expressing “suicidal implications.” As a result, the victim was involuntarily committed for a mental health evaluation (commonly referred to as a “Baker Act” hold). It was later determined that Deputy Bybee’s IP address was used to send the email as part of his plot to make it appear she had committed suicide.

In spite of all that, Bybee’s bail amount was dropped from $1,030,000 to $365,620

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At Least a Dozen New Jersey Cops Are Expected to be Arrested in Massive Payroll Fraud Scandal

An ongoing federal corruption probe is expected to result in at least a dozen arrests of Jersey City police officers, possibly as early as this month. The charges involve improper and fraudulent billing submitted by officers working off-duty security jobs. In some cases, the cops made arrangements with businesses directly instead of going through the police department to avoid the fees those businesses are required to pay to the city. In other instances, payroll records were falsified and officers were paid for off-duty work that they never actually performed. At least one of the officers involved received more in off-duty pay than he did for his regular police salary.

In November of 2015, ex-cop John Romaniello, whose job it was to assign off-duty jobs to fellow police officers, took a plea deal and admitted in court that he had set up a program to deal directly with businesses and cut the city out of their fees. However, his guilty plea to fraud and tax evasion charges as part of the deal wasn’t publicly announced until late in 2016. That delay is a pretty good indicator that he is also cooperating with the Feds in their continuing investigation and has a lot of his former co-workers feeling a bit nervous.

Via the Jersey Journal:

The probe is focusing on off-duty, private security work and has already ensnared one former Jersey City police officer.

Police officers have been expecting the arrests for months, the sources said.

NBC 4 New York reported on the probe last week and said that police brass are cooperating with federal officials to identify any officers involved.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill indicated that any investigation is a joint operation between the city and the feds…

Jersey City police officers are permitted to work off-duty providing security for private companies, which are supposed to go through the city when seeking officers. The city charges an administrative fee of $12 an hour on top of what the company pays the officer. That fee is expected to total nearly $300,000 for the city this year.

Sources said the feds are investigating officers who cut the city out as the middleman and either performed the work under the table or took the money without working at all.

Off-duty gigs can be lucrative for cops, who receive between $35 and $65 an hour depending on the kind of work. Payroll records show one officer’s payments for off-duty work this year — a total of $129,445 since January — were higher than his annual salary, $121,338. Three officers made more than $100,000 from off-duty work this year, the records show.

The records show officers received a total of $14,892,946 this year between Jan.1 and Nov. 17 for off-duty jobs.

These guys should really have known that if the Boss doesn’t get his cut, he’s gonna send some guys out to see what’s going on out there.

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Judge, Director of Public Safety, and Deputy Constable in Pennsylvania Arrested Laundering Drug Money

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, John I. Waltman, a district judge from Trevose, Robert P. Hoopes the Director of Public Safety for Lower Southampton, and Bernard T. Rafferty a Bucks County Deputy Constable were scooped up in a sting that involved laundering $400,000 they believed was derived from drug sales and fraud. In return, they had kept $80,000 out of the laundered money.

Via the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that in his position, Hoopes has authority over all police, fire, and emergency operations in Lower Southampton and previously operated a legal practice in Doylestown.

Besides being a deputy constable, Rafferty controls Raff’s Consulting LLC, a corporation registered with the state in 2011, the office said.

The sting operation was conducted by undercover officers and a confidential witness.

From June 2015 through November of this year, the defendants allegedly conducted three money-laundering transactions.

At one of those meetings, Hoopes’ badge was visible on his belt, according to the indictment.

As part of the scheme, Hoopes, Rafferty, and Waltman obtained bogus legal and business documents that provided the cover for money laundering, prosecutors said.

During one transaction described in the indictment, Hoopes drove an unmarked Lower Southampton police car to an office building in Feasterville-Trevose carrying a check from Rafferty’s consulting business in the amount of 80 percent of the cash, according to the indictment. The other two men waited outside in the unmarked police car.

In exchange for the check, undercover officers gave Hoopes a duffel bag filled with at least $100,000 in cash, prosecutors said.

Afterward, the men split their cuts and then deposited the remaining funds back into the Philadelphia bank account for Rafferty’s business, prosecutors said.

As part of the conspiracy, the men allegedly attempted to broker the sale to the undercover officers of a bar in Feasterville-Trevose to be used to launder money. They asked for a broker’s fee of at least 10 percent of the bar’s sale price, according to the indictment.

The men also allegedly planned to obtain a sham default judgment in Bucks County court and fraudulently enforce the judgment to provide funds to launder bank-fraud proceeds from an overseas account.

The full indictment can be viewed here: Bucks County Money Laundering Indictment.

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Iowa Police Chief Jeffrey Filloon Indicted For Selling Impounded Cars and Guns Stolen From Evidence

Chief Jeffrey Filloon, who resigned in August 2015 as the police chief in Tama, Iowa, was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 6th. He’s accused of selling several guns that were stolen from the department evidence room, as well as at least four cars that had been impounded. He also was charged with making false statements to an FBI agent during an investigation into the fraudulent sales.

Via the Courier:

Authorities allege Filloon took at least three firearms and four vehicles between August 2013 and March 2015.

One of the weapons, a Mossberg 12-gauge pump shotgun, had been held as evidence and was sold to General Store Pawn and Gun in Marshalltown for $200 in August. 2013.

Later that same month, Filloon sold a .45-caliber Keckler and Hoch UPS pistol to the same shop for $450, court records state. That weapon had been the duty gun of a Tama officer who surrendered it to the department when he retired in 2012.

Another firearm that was being held as evidence, a .44-caliber black powder revolver, was sold to the Marshalltown shop for $75 in Mach (sic) 2014.

Also in March 2014, Filloon allegedly sold a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix, a 1994 Ford Econoline F150 van and a 1994 Ford Explorer to Sandhill Auto Salvage for Tama for $650, court records state. He allegedly requested the check be made out to him instead of the city, records state.

That same month, he returned with a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado pickup and sold it for $250, claiming it was his person vehicle, record state (sic).

The false statement charges stem from statements Filloon allegedly made to an FBI agent who was investigating the weapons and vehicles in May 2016. He allegedly told the agent a relative of the shotgun’s owner told him he could keep the firearm instead of returning it to a family member, court records state. He also allegedly told the agent he had purchased the Silverado before selling it to the salvage company, records state.

Personally, I’m not sure why people are giving this Hero a hard time about all this. It’s been pretty well established that police evidence lockers are really just a slush fund for hardworking cops and that telling the truth is completely optional under their list of job requirements. This stressed out Good Cop, who was obviously just trying to do his job and following orders, should be reinstated and given some sort of officer of the year award immediately. At least we know he’ll get the typical Policeman’s Discount and in the end won’t have to face any sort of real consequences for his “illegal” actions.

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Nine Texas Cops Fired Three Others Have Resigned After Writing Tickets For Imaginary Traffic Stops

Back in May, fifteen police officers from Arlington Texas were given paid vacations after it was discovered they had been falsifying traffic stops in order to meet department ticket quotas. Now nine of those officers have been fired and another three have quit as a result of an internal affairs investigation. The remaining three and another who was later added remain on paid suspension while the investigation continues.

The traffic stop irregularities came to light when department supervisors attempted to review dash cam footage from the phantom stops. Once it was discovered that no dash camera video existed, a wider internal probe was initiated. Another “red flag” that raised suspicion was that the same license plate number was used for multiple stops.

In the end, it was determined that no stops had been made, nor had any citizens been contacted by the officers during the reported stops. The results of the internal investigation have been forwarded to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office for a determination of whether they will receive a painful slap on the wrist or some sort of imaginary punishment for their imaginary actions.

Via the Star-Telegram:

They are accused of lying about traffic stop reports, tampering with governmental records, and conduct unbecoming a police officer, the press release said.

Their cases have been forwarded to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine if criminal charges will be filed.

Two of the fired officers are also accused of not being truthful in their testimony with internal affairs investigators.

Police Chief Will Johnson declined to comment Friday night.

“These allegations are serious and represent conduct that is not consistent with departmental expectations,” Johnson said in a statement at the time.

Mayor Jeff Williams and several City Council members did not return requests late Friday for comment on the case.

Councilwoman Sheri Capehart said she couldn’t comment because it’s “a personnel matter.”

The accused officers reported on their in-car computers that they had made a traffic stop at a particular address but did not give any names, a source close to the investigation had said.

The allegedly falsified stops were discovered when supervisors could not find accompanying dash cam video of the stops.

Officers are required to report driver demographics, the reason for the traffic stop, whether an arrest occurred and whether a search was conducted during the stop, said Cook, the police spokesman. That data is used to compile the department’s annual racial-profiling report.

While also maintaining that the investigation was “flawed,” the attorney for two of the officers, Randy Moore, also claims that the Arlington Police Department has a quota system that officers are required to maintain. According to Moore, this quota system is responsible for the falsified traffic stops that he claims didn’t actually happen.
In spite of the department’s denials of the quotas’ existence, one of the stated motivations for the scheme was the desire to do well on performance evaluations. Of course, it’s not at all unusual for police department nationwide to institute quotas under some other name and pretend that they aren’t actually quotas and/or to have unannounced quotas that are enforced by supervisors.
In addition, there was also a recent case not far from Arlington in which four Houston police officers concocted a scheme involving traffic tickets to fraudulently get paid overtime for testifying in court by naming each other as witnesses in traffic tickets they wrote. So, it’s not at all unheard of for Road Pirates to realize that some of that revenue they are generating could belong to them personally if they played their (marked) cards right.
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Update: Investigation Opened Into Misconduct and Fraud by Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Bryan Jeffers of South East Missouri (SEMO) CopBlock, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It is an update of a previous submission about potential misconduct and fraud by Sheriff Dean Finch of Wayne County, Missouri. This post was originally published at the website of SEMO CopBlock under the title, “Did Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch violate the Hatch Act?

In addition, Bryan stated:

This Email was sent to me right before I shared this story.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has opened a case file and started an investigation into Sheriff Dean Finch’s misconduct. It would be great if Dean is charged and convicted of breaking the Hatch Act. It may not land him in prison as we’d prefer, however, it will be justice, no matter how small the punishment may be.

dean-finch-hatch-act-investigation

Click for full size image.

Did Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch Violate the Hatch Act?

To understand if Dean Finch violated the Hatch Act we first have to understand what the Hatch Act is about. The Hatch Act of 1939 was named after Senator Carl Hatch a Democrat from New Mexico who wrote it. The Hatch Act is officially, an act to prevent pernicious political activities. The act was amended in 2012. As such, we will focus on the 2012 amended version.

In 2012 President Barack Obama signed the “Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012.” It modified penalties under the Hatch Act to allow for disciplinary actions in addition to removal for federal employees; clarified the applicability to the District of Columbia of provisions that cover state and local governments; limited the prohibition on state and local employees running for elective office to employees whose salary is paid completely by federal loans or grants. (The complete law can be found here.)

According to subsection 7324. Political activities on duty; prohibitions
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PictureSEMO Cop Block obtained evidence of Dean Finch allegedly violating three of four prohibitions. In the picture provided, Dean Finch is seen at the Ozark Heritage Festival, campaigning in uniform with badge and belt present, with a county issued shirt on.

According to Subsection 7324, “An An employee may not engage in political activity, while the employee is on duty. As you can see from the picture provided the Sheriff is on duty, and in uniform.  Both of the accusations could be covered by Subsection 7324 A(1), and A(3).


In the festival’s parade, Dean Finch allegedly violated the Hatch Act early the same day by campaigning in a parade while he was driving the vehicle that he leases to the county, and is paid $0.54/mile when he drives it (read more here)
Did Dean add the mileage he drove during the parade to his mileage log he is paid from? According to the subsection 7324 – (4) it is prohibited “using any vehicle owned or leased by the Government of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof.” Hence Dean drove his leased vehicle during a campaigning session by driving the county leased vehicle throughout the “Ozark Heritage Festival” with a sign the read “Wayne County sheriff Dean Finch” on both sides of the vehicle. Isn’t this a violation of the Hatch Act?
We at SEMO Cop Block believe so. Dean Finch should be charged, convicted, and punished to the fullest extent of the law. According to subsection 732:

Dean Finch should be subject to removal and not allowed to hold any elected office for a period not to exceed 5 years. A fine not to exceed $1,000.

SEMO Cop Block has not just written up this article, we have filed a complaint with The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). (You can read the complaint here) The OSC is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Their basic authorities come from four federal statutes: the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Hatch Act, and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The OSC would be the one in charge of investigating the Hatch Act complaints.

If you believe Dean Finch or anyone else has violated the Hatch Act, the OSC contact information is:

U.S. Office of Special Counsel
1730 M Street, NW
Suite 218
Washington, DC 20036
Hatch Act Hotline:           (202) 254-3650 or (800) 854-2824
Hatch Act Fax:                 (202) 254-3700
E-mail:                              [email protected]
Website:                          www.osc.gov

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has opened a case file and started an investigation into Sheriff Dean Finch’s misconduct. It would be great if Dean is charged and convicted of breaking the Hatch Act. It may not land him in prison as we’d prefer, however, it will be justice no matter how small the punishment may be.

The ‘NATIONAL SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION” has been trying to change the law to not include sheriffs, but has failed in every attempt they’ve made. In a letter they wrote in 2012, they say:

“HB 498 would clarify current law to allow sheriffs, in their official capacity, to participate in political activities. Moreover, it also clarifies allowable political activities of a sheriff to include, but not limited to, endorsing a candidate through print, radio or TV ads, speaking at political events, attending or sponsoring fundraisers.” (full letter here)

The bill they asked for was referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy. The bill has never made it out of the subcommittee.

The Supreme Court has several times declined to hear challenges to the act and has twice upheld its constitutionality. In a 1947 case brought by the CIO, a divided court found that Congress had properly exercised its authority as long as it had not affected voting rights. Then again In 1973, in a case brought by the National Association of Letter Carriers. A 6 to 3 decision found the act is neither too broad nor unclear.
The Hatch Act is there to prevent people who are paid in part or completely by the Federal Government from campaigning in uniform or while on duty. The Supreme Court has ruled twice on its fairness and broadness. Congress did not vote or discuss the bill brought to them by the National Sheriffs’ Association.

– Bryan Jeffers
   SEMO CopBlock

 

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Missouri State Audits Show Potential Fraud by Wayne County Sheriff Dean Finch

The following post was originally published on the website of Southeast Missouri CopBlock under the title “Did Sheriff Dean Finch Steal from the County?” It was shared with the CopBlock Network by Bryan Jeffers of SEMO Copblock, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Did Sheriff Dean Finch Steal from the County?

The Missouri State Auditor has finished an audit on Wayne County, Missouri. This is the county’s second audit since 2013. Back in 2013, the county received an overall performance rating of poor. The newest audit was just released and the auditor reported that Wayne County once again received a poor rating.

Could this be the results of Dean Finch stealing from the county?

In the auditor’s report (which can be read here) Nicole Galloway, CPA, said:

“The county has received an overall performance rating of poor financial condition with serious concerns. The cash balance is low and does not take into account significant liabilities of the fund, including $471,846 due to the Special Road and Bridge Fund.

The prosecuting attorney frequently reduces charges filed on traffic tickets by requiring defendants to make a donation, ranging from $50 to $300, to the county’s Special Law Enforcement Fund as a condition of reducing the charges. Donations totaled approximately $44,500 for the year ending December 31, 2015. Written plea agreements signed by the defendant and the judge do not disclose the amount the defendant was required to donate to the Special Law Enforcement Fund.

Receipt slips are not issued immediately upon receipt of bad check fees and donations, checks and money orders are not restrictively endorsed promptly, and monies are not transmitted timely. The prosecuting attorney has not established adequate procedures to ensure 10-day letters are issued and charges are filed timely with the court for unresolved bad check complaints”

In 2013, the prosecuting attorney at the time, Robert Ramshur, told the Wayne County Journal-Banner:

“The auditor’s office said they could find no authority for the fund’s existence. Yet, since he said that, the County Commission has approved an ordinance validating the fund.” (For more click here)

So after the auditor found no authority for the fund the county quickly made the authority for it. Was the county trying to backpedal and cover for the extortion of traffic offenders by prosecuting attorney and the sheriff ‘s office back in 2013? The same practice of extorting traffic offenders still continues now with the authority of the county.

Sheriff Dean Finch maintains a bank account outside the county treasury according to the auditor’s 2016 report:

“This account has an unidentified balance,  to account for proceeds from the U.S. Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program without statutory authority.”

Did Sheriff Dean Finch steal money from the bank account he did not have the authority to maintain?

The report states that the bank account Dean Finch maintains may be against the law:

“There is no statutory authority allowing the Sheriff to maintain this account outside the county treasury. Section 50.370, RSMO, requires every county official who receives any fees or other remuneration for official services to pay such monies to the county treasurer. In addition, Attorney General’s Opinion No. 45-1992 to the Hickory County Prosecuting Attorney, states sheriffs are not authorized to maintain a bank account for law enforcement purposes separate from the county treasury”

Should Dean Finch be charged convicted and jailed for this?

Nicole Galloway in her 2016 audit of Wayne County said:

“The Sheriff has not entered into written agreements with the City of Greenville or surrounding counties for the boarding of prisoners detailing the prisoner housing rate to be paid, the services to be provided, or any required notification for emergency or non-routine situations.”

This means, if you were arrested by the City of Greenville or any surrounding cities or counties and were housed by Wayne County, they had no formal plan for that city or county to pay Wayne County for your jail time. Nor did they have any plans for emergency or non-routine situations. Could this be the reason Darrell Antone Died in Wayne County custody in 2015? (read more on his death here)

The Sheriff leases his car to the county for $1 a year, but that is not the real concern. The concern is what the county paid him for mileage.

According to the report:

“The Sheriff is to be responsible for all maintenance, upkeep, and operating expenses. Although not specified in the lease agreement, the Sheriff was paid $0.56 per mile as compensation for leasing his vehicle to the county during the year ended December 31, 2015. Mileage reimbursements paid to the Sheriff during the year ended December 31, 2015, totaled $19,425. The Sheriff maintains mileage logs that include his badge number, the date, and the number of miles driven per day while patrolling the county.”

Assuming if this practice has been done the whole time he was Sheriff, this would mean in the current term he would have been paid a total of over $77,700 and in his two terms total of $155,400 for driving his personal vehicle. That is more than two times what the average citizen of Wayne County makes in a year.

It seems to me that Dean Finch is using his position of power to profit as much money from the county as he can. Why did Dean Finch use his position to steal an income of at least $155,400 in eight years of driving his personal car around?

In the report Nicole Galloway states:

“In addition to the mileage logs submitted to the County Clerk’s office for reimbursement, we noted the Sheriff’s badge number also appeared on the fuel logs used to track fuel obtained from the Sheriff’s Office bulk fuel tank during 2015. These logs indicate the Sheriff fueled his vehicle from the bulk fuel tank 68 times in 2015; totaling 791 gallons, in addition to claiming and receiving compensation of $19,425 for the miles driven.”

Below you will find a spreadsheet we made outlining how much we estimate he was paid by the county when you add the reimbursement and the free gas he filled his car with for over the 7 years he was double dipping taking into a low-ball average of $2.50/gallon.

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Wayne County paid the sheriff over 1/2 million dollars in eight years. In those eight years, Finch was paid $155,400 over his salary. He was “gifted” with over $13,000 in free gas because the county paid twice for it.

In the report, it does, however, say:

“Beginning in 2016, the Sheriff began subtracting the cost of the fuel obtained from the bulk fuel tank from the mileage logs submitted to the County Clerk monthly. For example, in April 2016, the Sheriff was reimbursed $1,600 for 3,282 miles driven ($0.54 per mile for 2016) after deducting $172 for 97 gallons of fuel obtained from the county’s bulk fuel tank. The Sheriff calculated the amount to be deducted by multiplying the number of gallons pumped times the current price per gallon.”

This year is the 1st year Dean Finch decided to pay for the gas he is using. Will Dean Finch pay back the well over $13,000 he stole from double dipping?  Why is Dean Finch not in jail for stealing over $13,000 in gas?

The county has no accountability. In the 2015 audit report, it says:

“Neither the County Clerk nor the County Commission adequately reviews the financial activities of the County Collector. The County Clerk does not maintain an account book or other records summarizing property tax charges, transactions, and changes. The County Clerk and the County Commission do not perform procedures to verify the accuracy and completeness of the County Collector’s annual settlements. The County Clerk and County Commission do not adequately monitor additions and abatements entered into the property tax system.”

Wayne County citizens deserve better than Dean Finch.

Dean Finch, as Sheriff, cares more about loading his own pockets than protecting us and doing his job. According to the audit, he broke the law by managing a bank account he should never manage by law. He might of stole gas for seven years by the county paying for the gas in his car twice, once to him and once to the company the county gets the bulk gas from. He holds no accountability for the employees’ time sheets and overall is a horrible sheriff. Should Dean Finch be arrested? Did he steal over $13,000 in gas? Whats was up with the bank account he managed that he should never have had controll of?

– Bryan Jeffers

SEMO CopBlock

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Miami Police Officer Eric Dominguez Delays Medical Treatment For; Then Extorts Accident Victim

The following post was shared with the Cop Block Network by Allie Goldman, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page. It details how she was “protected and served” by Officer Eric Dominguez of the Miami Beach Police Department after she suffered a broken leg in an accident while riding a rented scooter during a visit to Miami earlier this year.

Allie states that, instead of helping her get necessary medical treatment for her injury or even simply allowing her to go to the hospital and seek that treatment herself, Officer Dominguez insisted on delaying that treatment by forcing her to provide a driver’s license (which often isn’t required for scooters).

Even after one of her friends retrieved the license, Officer Dominguez then extorted money from her based on an accident that caused no injury or damage to anyone except Allie herself and potentially the scooter for which Allie was already liable for.

Date of Incident: February 29, 2016
Officer Involved: Officer Eric Dominguez
Department Involved: Miami Beach Police Department
Contact Phone Number: (305) 673-7900
Facebook Page: Miami Beach PD Facebook Page
Twitter Account: @MiamiBeachPD

I was visiting Miami this past February for my birthday. Some friends and I rented those motorized scooters. On our last day there, I ran into a curb and fell off of the scooter. I did not injure anyone or anything (including the scooter) but the fall resulted in me having a severely broken leg.

A witness decided to call 911 when they saw me in pain. Officer Eric Dominguez responded. He was immediately very rude. I did not have my physical ID on me, so he kept accusing me of not really having a license. I was sitting there sobbing in pain wanting to leave and go to the hospital when I was told by him that he would arrest me if I left.

I had one of my friends drive back to our hotel to get my ID and bring it back to him. The officer was clearly not taking my injury seriously and even asked me to try to walk (which my doctors told me probably caused more damage). When my friend came back with my ID thirty minutes later, he acknowledged that I in fact did have a driver’s license and told me I could finally go to the hospital. I was upset about my treatment from the officer, but decided to let it go.

Two months later, I am now receiving numerous letters from Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts for the FOUR traffic citations Officer Dominguez gave me. First off, I was never told I was being cited with ANYTHING. I fell off of a scooter, I was unaware that was a crime! I am being cited with failure to provide insurance – he never asked for my insurance even though the scooter rental was in fact insured. I am being cited with reckless driving – the officer did not witness me driving. I am being charged with failure to provide a driver’s license – I had one at the time of the incident, and he made me wait to go to the hospital just so he could see it for himself. I am not even sure what the other citation even means.

I am shocked and disgusted that someone who is supposed to protect and serve would respond to an injured tourist and try to turn their life upside down. It was an ACCIDENT that did not injure anyone or anything besides myself.

So after dealing with the trauma of having a broken leg and having to have multiple surgeries, I now have $800 in traffic tickets, a bench warrant in Miami, and a suspended license where I live in Ohio. This incident makes Miami Beach PD look bad and has ruined my trust in the police in general! It definitely has tainted my many great memories in Miami.

– Allie Goldman

It’s actually rather ironic that Officer Dominguez would give anyone a ticket for reckless driving, BTW. Dominguez in fact was suspended from the Miami Beach Police Department in 2012 for (wait for it) speeding and driving recklessly in his patrol car on a occupied beach. In that incident, for which he was restricted from driving a department vehicle for two years and suspended a week, his vehicle actually went airborne due to the speed and lack of traction in the sand. (The video of that Heroic Act by Dominguez is embedded below.)

Prior to that, Dominguez nearly killed four motorcyclists in a crash, including another police officer, while (you guessed it) speeding and driving recklessly in a department issued vehicle in 2010. Then he lied and tried to tell highway patrol officers that responded that he was on duty and responding to a call, when he was actually off-duty at the time. According to the Miami New Times, there’s no evidence in his personnel file that Ofc. Dominguez was punished in any way for this incident. Taxpayers on the other hand, were forced to pay “tens of thousands” to his victims.

Just for good measure, he also has been caught committing fraud by abusing sick time on four different occasions since 2008. The fact that Officer Dominguez is in a position to give tickets to anyone at this point says a lot about the Miami Beach Police Department and the myth of “accountability” among all the Heroic Police Officers in general, not just the Good Cops in Florida.

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