COLUMBUS, OHIO — Former Columbus police officer Steven Edward Dean, 49, of Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 30 months in prison for misappropriating and selling heavy equipment and other property the Columbus police received through a Department of Defense surplus program.
Carter M. Stewart, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kevin Cornelius of the FBI); Brian Reihms of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
According to court documents, an investigation by the Columbus police, the FBI and DCIS concluded that between October 1, 2005, and June 1, 2012, Dean diverted property with a fair market value of $251,570.94 the police department had received from the Defense Reutilization Marketing Office program.
The embezzled items included $133,554.59 of heavy equipment, construction equipment, and vehicles; restaurant equipment; $94,163.25 of materials sold for scrap; and $16,353.15 worth of items, including diesel generators, sold to private persons. This conclusion was based on records obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense DRMO program, the state of Ohio offices involved with the DRMO program, scrap yard receipts, Craigslist online point-of-sale website records, restaurant supply records of sold equipment, and by viewing the items of property themselves.
“This is a major theft and embezzlement case involving a uniformed police officer stealing from his own department and involving property which should have otherwise been used to assist law enforcement, and all the equipment and vehicles were originally purchased with taxpayer dollars,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doug Squires and Deborah Solove told the court prior to sentencing.
“The sentencing demonstrates the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s ongoing commitment to combating fraud and corruption that impacts the Department of Defense’s vital programs and operations,” said Reihms,
Dean pleaded guilty in February to one count of embezzlement from a program receiving federal funds and one count of theft of public property. Under terms of the plea agreement, Dean will forfeit $251,570.94 less the value of the recovered equipment. Dean was also sentenced to three years of supervised released following imprisonment.