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Former Cumming Police sergeant convicted by federal jury

FBI investigates computer fraud, bribes

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ATLANTA — After being accused of accepting bribes in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information, former Cumming Police Sergeant Nathan VanBuren has been convicted by a federal jury in Atlanta.

The jury found VanBuren, 35, of Cumming, guilty of honest services wire fraud and computer fraud. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

He was accused in September 2015 of asking for money under false pretenses from someone recently arrested. He was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King and was indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2016.

“VanBuren broke the very laws he swore to uphold and enforce,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Police officers are afforded respect, and are expected to model integrity and honesty. This former officer undermined the hard work of other officers who serve, as well as the community’s trust and respect for the police.”

According to Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court said in July 2015, VanBuren, in his official capacity as a police officer, responded to a 911 call at a citizen’s home in Cumming. The citizen was arrested.

Then in July and August 2015, VanBuren and the citizen had additional communications. During those communications, VanBuren asked the citizen for a loan under the guise that his wages were being garnished and he had incurred financial debt due to his son’s medical and surgical expenses.

In truth, VanBuren’s salary was not being garnished and his son was neither ill nor had surgery.

The citizen felt threatened and reported VanBuren’s actions to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement.

While cooperating with authorities, the citizen provided VanBuren $5,000 in response to the sergeant’s repeated requests for money. During that meeting, the citizen asked whether VanBuren would search a sensitive police database to determine whether an individual was an undercover police officer.

Ultimately, in exchange for $1,000, VanBuren unlawfully accessed a law enforcement database and provided the results of that search to the citizen.

VanBuren resigned in September 2015 before he was terminated by the Cumming Police Department.

VanBuren joined the department in August 2008 and was promoted to sergeant in August 2013.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Cumming Police Department and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the investigation.


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