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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 30, 2017

Jury convicts former Cumming Police sergeant of accepting bribes and computer fraud

ATLANTA – A federal jury in Atlanta convicted former Cumming Police Sergeant Nathan VanBuren of taking bribes in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information. 

 

“VanBuren broke the very laws he swore to uphold and enforce,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “Police officers are afforded respect, and are expected to model integrity and honesty.  This former officer undermined the hard work of other officers who serve, as well as the community’s trust and respect for the police.”

 

“The FBI is charged with the unfortunate but necessary task of investigating police misconduct, to include corruption.  That was the case with the allegations received involving then Cumming Police Sgt. VanBuren, which resulted in his federal indictment and today’s conviction via jury trial.  The FBI continues to ask the public to do its part by reporting all allegations of public corruption, to include those involving law enforcement,  to their nearest FBI field office for prompt action,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
 

According to U.S. States 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 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 asked the citizen for a loan under the guise that his wages were being garnished and he had incurred financial debt due to his son’s medical and surgical expenses. In truth, VanBuren’s salary was not being garnished and his son was neither ill nor had surgery. The citizen felt threatened and reported VanBuren’s actions to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement.

 

While cooperating with law enforcement, the citizen provided VanBuren $5000 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. Ultimately, in exchange for $1000, VanBuren unlawfully accessed a law enforcement database and provided the results of that search to the citizen. VanBuren resigned before he was terminated by the Cumming Police Department.

 

A jury found Nathan VanBuren, 35, of Cumming, Georgia, guilty of honest services wire fraud and computer fraud.  Sentencing for VanBuren has not yet been scheduled.

 

This case is jointly being 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 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(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated October 30, 2017