Former St. Clair Sheriff's Deputy Pleads Guilty to Stealing Public Funds
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former St. Clair County, Mo., sheriff’s deputy and a former county jail inmate each have pleaded guilty to their roles in a wire fraud scheme.
Michael E. Mullaney, 54, of Lowry City, Mo., pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to stealing public money. Co-defendant William E. Parker, 54, of Fort Ritchie, Fla., formerly of Urich, Mo., pleaded guilty on Feb. 5, 2016, to wire fraud.
Mullaney was a deputy with the St. Clair County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department who arrested Parker for first degree burglary on Feb. 20, 2010. While Parker was incarcerated, he and Mullaney devised a scheme to defraud Work Force West Virginia to claim unemployment benefits for Parker to which he was not entitled.
Mullaney admitted that he obtained personal information from Parker in order to make Parker’s claim for unemployment benefits through Work Force West Virginia. Mullaney completed an Internet form with Parker’s personal information to fraudulently certify Parker’s eligibility for unemployment benefits. Parker was not eligible for unemployment benefits because he was not available and willing to accept full-time suitable work while he was incarcerated.
As a result of the fraud scheme, Parker received $5,388 on a bank debit card between Feb. 25 and May 10, 2010.
Under federal statutes, Mullaney is subject to a sentence of up to one year in federal prison without parole. Parker is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abram McGull II. It was investigated by the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Clair County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Work Force West Virginia Unemployment Compensation Division.