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Press Release

Virginia Sheriff, Three Others Indicted on Federal Bribery Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Culpeper County Sheriff Received Over $70,000 in Cash Payments in Exchange for Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff Appointments

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – An indictment was unsealed today charging the Sheriff of Culpeper County, Virginia, and three other Virginia men with a conspiracy to exchange bribes for law enforcement badges and credentials, federal programs bribery, and honest services fraud.

According to the indictment, from at least April 2019, Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Howard Jenkins, 51, accepted cash bribes and bribes in the form of campaign contributions totaling at least $72,500 from Rick Tariq Rahim, 55, of Great Falls, Virginia, Fredric Gumbinner, 64, of Fairfax, Virginia, James Metcalf, 60, of Manassas, Virginia, and at least five others, including two FBI undercover agents.  In return, Jenkins appointed each of the bribe payors as auxiliary deputy sheriffs, a sworn law-enforcement position, and issued them Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office badges and identification cards.  Jenkins told or caused others to tell the bribe payors that those law-enforcement credentials authorized them to carry concealed firearms in all fifty states without obtaining a permit.  In addition, Jenkins assisted Rahim in gaining approval for a petition to restore his firearms rights filed in Culpeper County Circuit Court that falsely stated that Rahim resided in Culpeper County.

“Scott Jenkins not only violated federal law but also violated the faith and trust placed in him by the citizens of Culpeper County by accepting cash bribes in exchange for auxiliary deputy badges and other benefits,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “Our elected officials are expected to uphold the rule of law, not abuse their power for their own personal, financial gain.”

"As law enforcement officers, we are sworn to protect and serve our communities. We do that by upholding the law - equally, and not abusing the powers that are entrusted to us,” Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI’s Richmond Division said today. “With today's announcement, FBI Richmond re-enforces our commitment - to the community - of ensuring abuses of public trust will not be tolerated and those responsible will be held accountable.”

Jenkins is charged with one count of conspiracy, four counts of honest-services mail and wire fraud, and eight counts of federal programs bribery.  Rahim is charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of honest-services mail and wire fraud, and three counts of federal programs bribery.  Gumbinner is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of honest-services wire fraud, and two counts of federal programs bribery.  Metcalf is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of honest-services wire fraud, and two counts of federal programs bribery. 

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 5 years in prison on the conspiracy count, up to 20 years in prison on each of the honest-services mail and wire fraud counts, and up to 10 years in prison on each of the federal programs bribery counts. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence for all four defendants after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The defendants are scheduled to make their initial court appearances today in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. 

The FBI’s Richmond Field Office, Charlottesville Resident Agency is investigating the case.  Trial Attorney Celia Choy of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather Carlton and Melanie Smith of the Western District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated June 29, 2023

Public Corruption