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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Former Oakley Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Wire and Tax Fraud

The former police chief of the Village of Oakley, located in Saginaw County, Michigan, pleaded guilty today to charges of wire fraud and filing a false income tax return for 2012, stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.   

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge James Dier, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Special Agent in Charge Manny Muriel, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI). 

Robert J. Reznick, of Swartz Creek, Michigan, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris in Bay City, Michigan.

According to court records, Reznick fraudulently used his position as a police chief to obtain reduced prices on firearms, ammunition, and other equipment from suppliers located both in and outside of Michigan.  He then sold the merchandise to his “reserve officers” for his personal profit.  Though the population of the Village of Oakley, located in Saginaw County, was under 300 people, Reznick recruited and maintained a roster of approximately 120 reserve officers for the Oakley Police Department, most of whom were affluent professionals or otherwise prominent individuals who lived outside of, and distant from, the Village of Oakley.  Reznick also used his position as police chief to facilitate the sale of assault shotguns, with the capacity to hold 16 rounds, from an out-of-state vendor for some of his customers and thereby enabled the purchasers of those shotguns to evade the federal and state taxes on the transactions.

In addition to the wire fraud charge, Reznick pleaded guilty to willfully filing a false 2012 federal income tax return, and acknowledged under-reporting his income on tax returns for additional years.  The criminal tax loss that resulted from Reznick failing to truthfully report all of his personal income totals approximately $87,702.

“Former Police Chief Reznick’s guilty plea demonstrates that no one is above the law in Michigan — and that includes those who enforce the law,” United States Attorney Matthew Schneider said.  “The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that those entrusted with enforcing the law follow it themselves, and when they do not, we will hold them fully accountable.”

“Instead of protecting and serving his community, Robert Reznick made the decision to break the law for personal gain, and in doing so violated the public’s trust.  ATF will never waver in our commitment to protecting the community and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold all citizens accountable.” said ATF Special Agent in Charge James Deir.

Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit’s IRS Criminal Investigation, stated, “Mr. Reznick dishonored his position as police chief and victimized the American taxpayers in the process.   IRS‐CI will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to investigate fraudulent tax allegations; no matter who is trying to destroy the integrity of our tax system.”

This case was investigated by special agents from both ATF and IRS-CI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Flint and Bay City branch offices

Topic(s): 
Tax
Updated March 27, 2019