Former Detroit Police Sergeant Faces Prison Time for iGaming Scheme
A former sergeant with the Detroit police department faces up to 10 years in prison for embezzling over $30,000 from inmate’s ATM cards.
When an individual is hired in position of authority, such as a police officer, they are responsible in a number of ways. They must protect the public and uphold the law. For the most part, individuals in these positions do so. However, in some cases, they do not, and laws are broken. Take for instance an incident involving a former sergeant within the Detroit Police Department. Derek Loranger is currently accused of embezzling $30,000 by stealing ATM cards of inmates and using the funds to gamble online.
Details of the Crime
Loranger was arraigned on Friday, pleading not guilty to several charges. He is accused of embezzling, using a computer to commit a crime, misconduct in an office, and possessing stolen financial transaction devices.
As a 23-year veteran of the police force, it was surprising to find that Loranger had used his position to steal from inmates for gambling purposes. He worked at the Detroit Detention Center and when detainees were brought in, their cash and other personal items must be surrendered. The money is added to an ATM and once released; the individual receives a card in the amount of cash they had on hand during the arrest.
Loranger reportedly stole ten of the ATM cards from January of this year through August. He loaded them with cash and then used the money to play casino games at local gambling sites. Michigan offers online gambling via several operators and players only have to be 21 years of age and physically in the state to take part.
Abusing His Position
The police department began investigating the officer back in October when an audit showed a few issues. If the audit had not taken place, Loranger may have been able to continue the scheme. He retired soon after the investigation began. If the police officer had not retired, he would have faced additional repercussions from the police department due to his actions.
Court documents show that Loranger did not speak during the arraignment and did not plead physically. The plea of not guilty was entered for him. It is unclear if the former police officer will make a statement himself or via his attorney at this time.
The judge in the case recommended that Loranger take part in a problem gambling program such as Gamblers Anonymous. It was not ordered, but the judge feels it would help him get back on track. Prosecutor Kym Worthy spoke with local reporters about the incident, stating that the police officer’s behavior was inexcusable.
Worthy stated the evidence in the case shows that the defendant was put in a position of trust within the Detention Center and he was supposed to provide care for the inmates. Instead, he abused the trust and stole money that was not his to take. The prosecutor stated that no one deserves to have their money taken from them, especially from an individual in a position where they are supposed to provide a duty of care.
If convicted, the police officer could face up to 10 years in prison. It is unclear if the maximum sentence would be issued or if less time would be given. Speculation makes one imagine that the judge will not be lenient due to the position that Loranger held within the facility. We should see in the coming weeks how the case plays out and just how much time, if any, that Loranger will spend in prison for his actions.