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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Former Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement, Wire Fraud

Jeffrey Spicer Admits to Embezzling Funds from Federal DMV Program

Abingdon, VIRGINIA – A former Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to embezzling more than $20,000 of unworked overtime payments from a federal DMV program over the course of three years and wire fraud for his role in a scheme to defraud the Department of Criminal Justice Services, United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced.

Jeffrey Scott Spicer, 51, of Gate City, Va., pleaded guilty today to one count of embezzlement and one count of wire fraud. At sentencing, Spicer faces up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000.

“Corruption and self-dealing by public officials jeopardizes the public’s trust in vital government functions and the rule of law,” U.S. Attorney Cullen stated today.  “We will continue to investigate credible allegations of criminal misconduct by public officials, including police officers, and, when appropriate, prosecute violations in federal court.”

According to court records, between 2014 and 2017, while working as a deputy with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, Spicer submitted approximately 47 fraudulent requests to be paid for 765 hours of overtime and was, in fact, paid a total of $21,346 in overtime payments to which he was not entitled.   These payments were made to Spicer by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office out of funds allotted to certain grants including an asset forfeiture grant and Selective Enforcement DMV grant.  

In addition, Spicer owned and operated a company known as Spicewater Home Electronic Monitoring, or Spicewater. Through this company, the defendant was tasked with providing home electronic monitoring services to individuals as ordered by the Scott County Virginia Circuit Court.  As the owner and operator of Spicewater, Spicer was responsible for ensuring that the individuals ordered to be on home electronic monitoring were in fact being electronically monitored and complying with the terms of electronic monitoring ordered by the Scott County Circuit Court. 

Mr. Spicer’s company contracted with another business that actually provided the electronic monitoring services, but the individuals being monitored paid Spicer for the monitoring services.  From approximately March 20, 2017, through July 2017, the other business contracted by Spicewater stopped providing home electronic monitoring services.  Spicer, however, continued to receive $13,797 in payments from the individuals for the monitoring services even though no such monitoring services were actually being performed.  Additionally, Spicer solicited nude photographs via text message and sex from some of the females placed on home electronic monitoring, in exchange for payment and for not notifying the court of their non-compliance with the conditions of home electronic monitoring imposed by the court.

Further, Spicer devised a scheme to defraud the Department of Criminal Justice Services. As part of his scheme, Spicer logged onto the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ website with individual law enforcement officer’s usernames and passwords, completed online courses, took online tests on the law enforcement officers’ behalves, and then certified that those individual law enforcement officers had completed the courses when, in fact, they had not. Spicer received monetary payments in exchange for completing the online training courses for some of the law enforcement officers.   

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Lena Busscher is prosecuting the case for the United States.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Updated November 12, 2019