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Press Release

Former Omaha Police Officer Sentenced for Fraud Conspiracy

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

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Johnny Palermo, 48, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on April 11, 2024, in federal court in Lincoln, Nebraska, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Senior United States District Judge John M. Gerrard sentenced Palermo to 24 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Palermo’s release from prison, he will begin a 3-year term of supervised release. Senior Judge Gerrard ordered Palermo to pay $65,014.67 in restitution.

From 2017 to April 1, 2023, Johnny Palermo conspired to defraud donors of the Latino Peace Officers Association (LPOA), the LPOA Board, and Police Athletics for Community Engagement (PACE) for his own personal benefit.  Johnny Palermo, a former police officer with the Omaha Police Department and LPOA Board member, without having full LPOA Board authority, conducted financial transactions for his personal benefit using LPOA funds.  LPOA funds were misused by Johnny Palermo for trips, meals, and gambling. Johnny Palermo also misused LPOA funds to purchase trips for friends and co-defendant Vincent Palermo.  Benefits provided to Vincent Palermo paid for by LPOA were intended to influence Vincent Palermo’s actions as an Omaha City Councilman to benefit PACE and the LPOA.

FBI Omaha Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel said, “This former law enforcement officer violated his oath of office by using his trusted position for personal gain. Public corruption is a top criminal investigative priority for the FBI.  We are committed to working with our state, local, federal, and tribal law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate, pursue, and hold accountable those who violate their oath of office to enrich themselves. The FBI encourages everyone in our community to continue to come forward and report abuses of public office.”

Co-defendants Vincent J. Palermo, 50, of Omaha, and Richard Gonzalez, 55, of Papillion, Nebraska, were sentenced on January 16, 2024, for conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. Vincent Palermo was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for the conspiracy charge and a consecutive 9-month term of imprisonment for a violation of supervised release. Gonzalez was to 18 months’ imprisonment for the conspiracy charge. Vincent Palermo will serve two years of supervised release and Gonzalez will serve three years of supervised release. Both were ordered to pay restitution: $10,292.28 for Vincent Palermo; and $66,749.35 for Gonzalez.

Co-defendant Jack Olson’s trial is scheduled for June 24, 2024, before Senior Judge Gerrard in Lincoln. Olson is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Lecia Wright - Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney (402) 661-3700

Updated April 12, 2024