You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Former Cumming Police Officer Charged with Accepting Bribe for Unlawfully Accessing a Law Enforcement Database

ATLANTA – Former Cumming, Georgia, Police Officer Nathan VanBuren has been arraigned after being charged with wire fraud and computer fraud. 

“This former police officer allegedly used his position to access sensitive information in exchange for money,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn.  “This type of conduct unfortunately impairs the hard work of the police as well as the community’s trust in law enforcement.”

“Investigations into allegations of public corruption involving police officers is a disheartening, but very necessary duty of the FBI.  People have a right to demand that their public safety officers possess integrity and a sense of fairness as they carry out their duties. The FBI asks that anyone with information regarding such matters to contact their nearest FBI field office,” said J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: In July 2015, VanBuren, in his official capacity as a police officer, responded to a 911 call at a citizen’s home in Cumming, Georgia. The citizen was arrested. In July and August 2015, VanBuren and the citizen had additional communications. During those communications, VanBuren allegedly asked the citizen for a loan because his wages were being garnished and he had incurred financial debt due to his son’s medical and surgical expenses. In reality, VanBuren’s salary was not being garnished and his son was not ill. The citizen reported VanBuren’s actions and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement.

While cooperating with law enforcement, the citizen provided VanBuren $5,000 in response to VanBuren’s repeated requests for money. During that meeting, the citizen asked whether VanBuren would search a sensitive police database to determine whether an individual was an undercover police officer. In exchange for $1,000, VanBuren unlawfully accessed the law enforcement database and provided the results of that search to the citizen. VanBuren resigned before he was terminated by the Cumming Police Department.

Nathan VanBuren, 34, of Cumming, Georgia, was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Janet F. King.  He was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 29, 2016. 

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Cumming Police Department and Forsyth County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Brown is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic: 
Public Corruption
Updated July 7, 2016