Former Nashville General Sessions Judge Indicted on Additional Federal Obstruction and Theft Charges
A federal grand jury yesterday, returned a superseding indictment against a former Nashville, Tennessee judge on obstruction and other charges stemming from a scheme in which he abused his official position for personal gain. U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee and Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.
Cason “Casey” Moreland, 60, of Nashville, Tennessee, was originally indicted in April 2017 on five counts of obstruction of justice. The superseding indictment adds five additional counts: two counts related to theft from a program receiving federal funds; two additional obstruction of justice counts relating to witness tampering and destruction of documents; and one count of committing an offense while on pretrial release. Moreland was arrested again on March 1, 2018, pursuant to a criminal complaint charging him with obstruction charges.
According to the superseding indictment, Moreland was a General Sessions Judge in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee and heard civil, criminal and traffic cases. Moreland also presided over the General Sessions Drug Treatment Court, which was a specialized court program designed to provide alternatives to incarceration for certain defendants. The work of the Drug Treatment Court was supported by a nonprofit entity called the Davidson County Drug Court Foundation (the “Drug Court Foundation”). Although Moreland did not have an official position with the Drug Court Foundation, he exercised de facto authority over the Drug Court Foundation’s operations. Beginning in Spring 2016, Moreland is alleged to have begun embezzling cash from the Drug Court Foundation. According to the indictment, Moreland directed the Drug Court Foundation’s director to deliver envelopes of the Drug Court Foundation’s cash to his office in exchange for allowing the director to increase the compensation that she received from the Drug Court Foundation.
According to the superseding indictment, Moreland became aware that he was a target of an investigation being conducted by the FBI and a federal grand jury in February 2017. The superseding indictment alleges that after learning of the investigation, Moreland took steps to obstruct and interfere with the investigation by directing the Drug Court Foundation’s director to destroy documents that would show the amount of cash that had been paid to the Foundation and ultimately stolen by Moreland. In February 2018, Moreland is alleged to have attempted to tamper with a witness by suggesting that she lie to the grand jury investigating his conduct.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cecil VanDevender of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Andrew Laing of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.