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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Former Cumming police officer sentenced to prison for accepting bribes and computer fraud

ATLANTA – Nathan VanBuren, a former Cumming police officer, was sentenced to federal prison for accepting bribes and unlawfully accessing a confidential law enforcement database. 

“VanBuren violated his oath of office and broke the laws he swore to uphold and enforce,” said U. S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “His crimes undermine the hard work of his fellow officers, as well as the community’s trust and respect for police officers.”

“The actions of VanBuren are extremely disheartening to the many men and women in law enforcement, who work hard every day with integrity and commitment. The FBI will continue to dedicate significant resources toward investigating anyone who tarnishes their reputation by straying from his or her oath,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.

“It is paramount that public officials, especially sworn law enforcement officers, committing crimes be held accountable for their actions,” said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan.  “The GBI will continue to work with our local and federal partners to ensure that corruption cases are aggressively investigated and prosecuted in order to maintain the faith and trust of the public.”  

“VanBuren betrayed the public trust and the trust of the hard working men and women of this agency, said Chief Casey Tatum, Cumming Police Department.  “Anytime a law enforcement officer uses their position to victimize someone, justice demands they be held accountable.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, 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 home in Cumming, Georgia, at which time a citizen was arrested. In July and August 2015, VanBuren and the citizen had additional communications. During those communications, VanBuren asked the citizen for a loan claiming that 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 met with and provided VanBuren with $5,000 in response to VanBuren’s repeated requests for money. During that meeting, the citizen asked VanBuren to 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, 35, of Cumming, Georgia was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Orinda D. Evans to one year, six months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release. VanBuren was convicted of honest services wire fraud and computer fraud on October 26, 2017, after a jury trial.

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

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Brown prosecuted 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(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated May 3, 2018