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East Cleveland Police chief pleads not guilty to felony financial crimes

Posted at 10:08 AM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 10:08:49-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio — East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner has pleaded not guilty to felony charges for financial crimes.

Gardner appeared in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Wednesday morning where he was indicted on charges of aggravated theft, fraud, theft in office and more.

A bond of $5,000 was set for him.

His first pretrial hearing is set for Oct. 3 at 9 a.m.

Gardner was been suspended and placed on administrative leave last month following the indictment.

East Cleveland police chief suspended after indictment for financial crimes

The indictment alleges Gardner failed to file returns and pay taxes from 2014 to 2019, and purposely falsified, destroyed, removed, concealed, altered, defaced or mutilated digital sales tax return records with the purpose of defrauding the Ohio Department of Taxation. The amount allegedly deprived from the department was between $150,000 and $750,000.

The indictment also alleges Gardner passed several bad checks in the amount of $16,200 with the purpose of defrauding US Bank and/or the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 39.

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