News and Press Releases

Former SCSU Police Chief Pleads Guilty
in Connection with Extortion Plot

January 10, 2013

Contact Person: Mark Moore (803) 929-3000

Charleston, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Michael Bartley, age 48, of Orangeburg, South Carolina, pled guilty to an Information (copy attached) charging him with conspiring to violate the Hobbs Act and other federal statutes, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. United States District Judge David C. Norton of Charleston accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the plea hearing established that Bartley, then the police chief of South Carolina State University (SCSU), agreed with another SCSU official to use their positions and relationships to arrange SCSU’s purchase of real property in Orangeburg County owned by Person A. Bartley and his conspirators agreed that Person A would pay Bartley approximately $30,000 in cash, buy Bartley an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and also provide a separate kickback to the other SCSU official in return for Bartley and the other SCSU’s official’s assistance in arranging SCSU’s purchase of the real property at the price set by Person A.

Mr. Nettles stated that the maximum penalty Bartley can receive is a fine of $250,000 and imprisonment for 5 years, plus a special assessment of $100.

Mr. Nettles stated, “South Carolina State University and its students are the victims of the crime charged in this Information, not the target. This investigation does not target South Carolina State University. Rather, this Information focuses on an individual who used his position and relationships in an effort to line his pockets at the University’s expense.”

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS-CI). This case and its companion cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mark C. Moore, Nancy C. Wicker, Jane B. Taylor and DeWayne Pearson. Mr. Nettles stated that other charges are expected in connection with this ongoing investigation.

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