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COLUMBUS – Former Columbus Police Officer Steven Edward Dean, 49, of Columbus, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to misappropriating and selling heavy equipment and other property the Columbus Division of Police received through a Department of Defense surplus program.
Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kevin Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Brian Reihms, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the pleas entered today before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.
According to court documents, an investigation by the Columbus Division of Police, the FBI and DCIS concluded that between October 1, 2005 and June 1, 2012, Dean diverted property with a fair market value of $251,570.94 the police department had received from the Defense Reutilization Marketing Office (DRMO) program.
The embezzled items included $133,554.59 of heavy equipment, construction equipment and vehicles, restaurant equipment, $94,163.25 of materials sold for scrap, and $16,353.15 worth of items sold to private persons including diesel generators. This conclusion was based on records obtained from the U.S. Department of Defense DRMO program, the State of Ohio offices involved with the DRMO program, scrapyard receipts, Craigslist online point-of-sale website records, restaurant supply records of sold equipment, and by viewing the items of property themselves.
Dean pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from a program receiving federal funds and one count of theft of public property. Each crime carries a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment, but the plea agreement specifies that the sentences should be groups and not imposed consecutively. Under terms of the plea agreement, Dean will forfeit $251,570.94 less the value of the recovered equipment.
Judge Watson will schedule a sentencing hearing following a pre-sentence investigation by the court.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by DCIS, the FBI and CPD, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Doug Squires and Deborah Solove, who are representing the United States in this case.