A former sergeant for the Detroit Police Department (DPD) who embezzled more than $30,000 after stealing ATM cards meant for inmates in his custody faces up to ten years in prison if convicted.
Derek Loranger used the money for online gambling, according to prosecutors.
At his arraignment Friday, Loranger pleaded not guilty to one count of embezzlement, one count of using a computer to commit a crime, one count of misconduct in office, and 10 counts of possession of a stolen financial transaction device.
According to court documents, the 23-year DPD veteran worked at the Detroit Detention Center. When detainees were brought in, they would surrender cash that would be fed into an ATM. On their release, they would receive an ATM card loaded with the equivalent sum.
Loranger is accused of stealing ten of these ATM cards between January and August of 2021 and loading them with cash. He then plowed the money into “multiple” online gambling sites.
‘Abuse of Trust’
DPD began investigating Loranger in October when a routine audit threw up some anomalies. He resigned from the police force shortly after that.
According to court documents, Loranger did not utter a word during his arraignment and a not-guilty plea was entered by the court on his behalf.
The judge recommended he enrol in a problem gambling program like Gamblers’ Anonymous, although this was not ordered.
There is simply no excuse for this alleged behavior,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy told local news reporters. “The evidence will show that this defendant was placed in a position of trust at the Detroit Detention Center — a place where people completely rely on others for their care. This simply cannot be tolerated.
“No one deserves their money to be taken, no one, and certainly no one deserves that at the hands of someone in this agency,” she added.
Bad Cop, Worse Cop
Law enforcement has traditionally taken a dim view of wagering amongst its ranks. That’s because of the grip organized crime has historically held over gambling in America. This has meant law enforcement personnel with a predilection for betting be compromised and exposed to corruption.
In July, a former officer with the Chicago Police Department, Nicholas Stella, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role as an agent in an illegal gambling operation with links to organized crime.
Two months later, another Illinois cop, Officer John Abamile, received six months in home detention for a similar role in the same outfit.
Abamile’s lawyer said his client suffered from a long-term gambling addiction.
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