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former chief of st. louis park rangers sentenced on fraud charges

January 27, 2014

St. Louis, MO - THOMAS STRITZEL, Former Chief of the St. Louis Park Rangers, was sentenced to 36 months in prison on charges that he and Joseph Vacca, Former Deputy Commissioner of the St. Louis Parks Division, defrauded the City of St. Louis of approximately one-half million dollars by submitting false invoices for materials and services supplied to the Parks Division.  He appeared before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson in St. Louis.

According to court documents at the time of their guilty pleas, from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2012, Vacca and Stritzel embezzled funds of the City of St. Louis based upon the submission of sham and false invoices, which included false charges of approximately $472,722.  They used the funds for their own personal use, including lease payments on personal vehicles, fuel costs, the payment of personal credit card charges and other personal living expenses unrelated to the legitimate operations of the St. Louis Parks Division.

Vacca and Stritzel set up a sham company called Dynamic Management and then funneled city funds received through the submission of false and sham invoices to Dynamic Management's bank account. They then used those fraudulently obtained funds for their own personal use, including leasing personal vehicles, payment of fuel costs and the payment of personal credit card charges.

Stritzel, St. Louis, mo, was also ordered to pay restitution of $472,722.

Joseph Vacca, St. Louis, MO, was sentenced in December to 36 months in prison, and ordered to pay restitution to the City of St. Louis in the amount of $472,722.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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