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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Former Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced to Prison on Embezzlement and Wire Fraud Charges

ABINGDON, Va.- Jeffery Scott Spicer, a former Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy, who embezzled more than $20,000 of unworked overtime payments from federal grant money allocated to the Sheriff’s Office over the course of three years, and solicited sex and nude photographs from women placed on home electronic monitoring by state court, was sentenced today to 24 months in federal prison. Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar made the announcement.

Spicer, 52, of Gate City, Va., pleaded guilty in November 2019 to one count of embezzlement and one count of wire fraud.

“Citizens have to be able to trust public officials, but when officers violate that trust, it threatens the rule of law,” Acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “Today’s sentence shows that corruption simply will not be tolerated.  I am grateful for the hard work put into this case by the FBI and the Virginia State Police, as we seek to root out corruption at every level.”

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 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 prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated October 29, 2020