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Press Release

Former Oakland Police Chief Sentenced for Misuse of Public Funds

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

Acting United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Terry A. Poland, 34, of Fremont, Nebraska, was sentenced on July 25, 2023, by the Honorable Michael D. Nelson, United States Magistrate Judge, to three years of probation, 60 days of which must be served in jail as a condition of probation.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Poland pleaded guilty in April 2023 to Misuse of Public Funds.  Poland paid $14,631.00 in restitution, agreed to surrender his law enforcement certification, and not to work as a law enforcement officer in the future.     

During February 2020 to January 2021, Poland purchased about 27 gift cards in four transactions from a sporting goods store operating in Nebraska, using the charge account that the City of Oakland had at the store.  Poland was the Oakland Police Chief at the time.  The total value of the gift cards that Poland acquired with Oakland’s funds was $14,631.00.

Poland used the gift cards to acquire items for the use of himself and family members.  Poland purchased among other things women’s and children’s clothing, an ice fishing house, an auger, fishing equipment and a basketball backboard.  Poland made most purchases using the gift cards at store locations in Nebraska but made at least one purchase online. 

An outside auditor questioned the acquisition of the gift cards.  At the request of the outside auditor, the Oakland City Clerk requested additional receipts from Poland.  Poland stated that all the gift cards were used to purchase ammunition for the Oakland Police Department and provided to the City Clerk five purported receipts, each captioned “Purchase Statement.”  Each Purchase Statement was purportedly from the store and reflected the purchase of ammunition on a particular date during August 2020 to January 2021. 

The Purchase Statements that Poland provided to the City Clerk were phony.  They were not issued by the store, and the transactions, item numbers, and item descriptions did not match the store’s records.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Donald J. Kleine - Chief, General Criminal Unit (402) 661-3700

Updated July 27, 2023