(WXYZ) — A Hazel Park police detective is accused of embezzling more than $65,000 in public asset forfeiture funds.
The state attorney general's office says Sean Boucher, 45, of Warren, is set to be arraigned on the following charges:
- Conducting a criminal enterprise, a felony punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment and/or $100,000;
- Embezzlement of between $50,000 and $100,0000, a felony punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment and/or $25,000, or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater; and
- Five counts of embezzlement by a public official of more than $50, a 10-year felony or $5,000.
Boucher turned himself in to police Wednesday morning at the Michigan State Police North Metro Post in Oak Park.
“This joint operation is an excellent example of law enforcement working together to serve in the public’s best interest,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “As a member of law enforcement, you pledge your professional life to the service of others, which is grounded in trust with the community in which an officer serves. My office is committed to rebuilding and upholding the public’s trust in government and law enforcement, and I will go to great lengths to root out corruption and misuse of authority in pursuit of justice.”
Michigan law provides for the seizure of funds and property that were used during or derived from criminal activity. The public asset forfeiture funds are used to support law enforcement operations through training, equipment and other resources.
Authorities allege Boucher embezzled about $68,000 for his own personal use over the course of several incidents between 2013 and 2017.
"Mr. Boucher allegedly stole from the city of Hazel Park and its citizens, depriving them of needed projects and public services,” said Timothy Waters, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “Make no mistake, any public servant who exploits his position of trust to enrich himself will be held accountable.”
Boucher was placed on administrative leave Sept. 11, 2017 by the Hazel Park Police Department and suspended the following day. He resigned Sept. 15, 2017.
“We would like to thank the FBI Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force for investigating these crimes,” said Police Chief Brian Buchholz of the Hazel Park Police Department. “The residents of Hazel Park put their trust in the defendant to uphold the law, and that trust was broken. These charges should in no way be a reflection of the members of this department who serve this city with honor and integrity every day.”