Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Oakley Police Chief Sentenced to a Year and a Day in Prison for Wire and Tax Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

The former police chief of the Village of Oakley, located in Saginaw County, Michigan, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison based on his convictions for wire fraud and filing a false income tax return for 2012, stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.  Reznick was also ordered to pay $124,078.88 as criminal restitution for unpaid back taxes and $4,553.77 for the costs of prosecution. A civil tax assessment, including penalties and interest, will be made later by the IRS.

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, was sentenced by United States District Judge Thomas L. Ludington in Bay City, Michigan.

“The vast number of police officers in Michigan are outstanding, dedicated public servants, but unfortunately this case is an exception to that rule,” stated United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “Former Police Chief Reznick’s prison sentence shows that no one is above the law in Michigan — and that includes those who enforce the law.”

According to court records, Reznick fraudulently used his position as a police chief to obtain reduced prices on firearms, ammunition, and other police 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 was sentenced for his conviction of willfully filing a false 2012 federal income tax return. Additionally, Reznick acknowledged under-reporting his income on tax returns for additional years and receiving more than $10,000 in criminally-derived income. The criminal tax loss that resulted from Reznick failing to truthfully report all of his personal income totals was approximately $87,702. He had additional unreported income for his business, Due Process of Michigan.

“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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Flint and Bay City branch offices.

Updated July 22, 2019