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April 21, 10

NEWS / Former Deputy Constable in Indiana Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bribery; Sentenced to 14 Mo


Michael S. Sherfick, a former local law enforcement official, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to a criminal information charging him with conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division. Sherfick was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William T. Lawrence to 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release following the prison term. Sherfick was also ordered to pay a $35,750 fine.

According to court documents, Sherfick, 37, of Noblesville, Ind., was an employee of the Perry Township Constableís Office (PTCO), a local law enforcement department in Marion County, Ind. Sherfick held the positions and ranks of honorary deputy constable, deputy constable, executive assistant, captain and major during the relevant period. According to court documents, Perry Township received federal assistance of more than $10,000 under a federal program involving a grant in 2005, among other years.

From June 2005 until his employment was terminated in September 2007, Sherfick admitted that he used his official position to solicit and accept payments of money and other things of value in exchange for PTCO deputy constable badges, identification cards and parking placards. Sherfick admitted that he received bribe payments totaling more than $30,000.

The individuals who paid the requested bribes in return for PTCO law enforcement credentials were not affiliated with the PTCO. According to the court documents, these individuals included a health care company executive, a real estate agent, the president of a construction company, the owner of a software company, a finance manager for a car dealership, the owner of a home theater electronics store, the chief executive officer of a management consulting services firm and two restaurant owners. Sherfick admitted he advised these individuals that they would receive a host of benefits and privileges by displaying the law enforcement credentials, including among others, the ability to park their vehicles in restricted areas, evade traffic tickets, obtain access to sports events without paying admittance fees and receive other discounts for goods and services. Sherfick admitted that he requested the bribe payments be made in cash, however, on several occasions he accepted checks and payments in kind. Sherfick also admitted that he instructed individuals to whom he sold law enforcement credentials to lie to investigators and the grand jury concerning his involvement in the scheme.

This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Justin V. Shur of the Criminal Divisionís Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI and the Indiana State Police.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/April/10-crm-454.html

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