|Ex-UC officer indicted on fraud charge |
|Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:00 pm |
By CHRIS MENEES
A former Union City police officer has been indicted in an alleged fraud case involving a four-wheeler he reported stolen in 2010.
Michael Lee Hogg, 42, was indicted for false reports and false or fraudulent insurance claims (two counts) earlier this week by the February term of the Obion County grand jury.
Hogg had waived his case to the grand jury during a Jan. 19 appearance in Obion County General Sessions Court.
He was arrested Dec. 21, 2011, by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation on charges stemming from an investigation of a stolen four-wheeler reported to the Obion County Sheriff’s Department 18 months ago.
He had been employed with the Union City Police Department since June 2007 and was terminated effective Dec. 28 following a seven-day suspension period that began the day of his arrest.
According to TBI agent Mark Reynolds’ arrest affidavit, Hogg reported to the sheriff’s department Aug. 7, 2010, that a four-wheeler was stolen from his residence at 1309 Lookout Drive, which is near Union City.
He then allegedly contacted Farm Bureau Insurance and filed a claim of theft, with the insurance company paying a claim for a stolen four-wheeler.
Reynolds said in his affidavit it was established that the four-wheeler was given to someone by Hogg prior to the stolen report and the insurance claim being filed. The agent alleged Hogg saw the four-wheeler after the report and claim were filed and was aware of the location.
According to the affidavit, Hogg allegedly obtained a warranty claim totaling about $3,000 from Abernathy’s and used the money “to gain a benefit” from the gun shop, L&A Firearms.
Reynolds also stated in the affidavit that agents interviewed Hogg and he allegedly gave a false statement to TBI agents by denying any involvement with the theft, “hindering the investigation” and resulting in a charge of filing a false report.
Hogg’s arrest also launched an internal investigation by the Union City Police Department.
As a result, three other Union City police officers were recently suspended and then terminated at the end of that period for alleged policy violations.
Union City Police Chief Joe Garner emphasized the investigation revealed no criminal activity on the part of the three officers.
Additionally, a deputy with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department resigned from duty while he was on suspension, according to Obion County Sheriff Jerry Vastbinder. Published in The Messenger 2.9.12