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Press Release

Former Director of a Law Enforcement Association Pleads Guilty to Stealing Funds

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

St. Louis, MO – Paul Kesterson, 48, of Washington, MO, was employed as a Lieutenant with the Washington, Missouri Police Department, pled guilty to a one count Information – Access Device Fraud.  Kesterson appeared before U.S. District Judge Webber today who accepted his plea and set his sentencing for September 10, 2019.

According to his plea agreement, between February 1, 2018 and April 2019, Kesterson served as the Director of the St. Louis Area Law Enforcement Exploring Association (STLEEA) and as a Lieutenant with the Washington, Missouri Police Department.  As the Director of STLEEA, Kesterson handled all of the finances and managed the Explorer Academy training.  He was issued a credit and debit card so he could draw upon funds of the STEELA checking account for the benefit of the organization. After the Assistant Director received a phone call from U.S. Bank regarding a late credit card payment, an investigation was conducted regarding Kesterson’s use of the STLEEA account, as well as a Washington Police Department bank account controlled by Kesterson on behalf of STLEEA. Financial records revealed that Kesterson had been using the credit/debit card to make personal purchases.  The total loss to obtain goods and services totaled over $29,000. During the instant investigation regarding the STLEEA U.S. Bank account activity from 2018 to April 2019, no other members of the Washington Police Department or any other law enforcement agencies were found to be involved in Kesterson’s criminal activity.

Kesterson faces not more than 15 years, fine of not more than $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, Washington Police Department and O’Fallon, Missouri Police Department.

Updated June 10, 2019

Financial Fraud