Ohio officer charged with stealing more than $25,000 from “Shop with a Cop” program

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An Ohio officer is facing some serious charges after allegedly stealing more than $25,000 from the “Shop With A Cop” Program.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says Michael Simmons, 41, of Stow, Ohio has been charged with a felony count of theft.

Special agents with Attorney General DeWine’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation began investigating Simmons in January at the request of the department’s chief of police, who became aware of unauthorized financial transactions from Richfield’s “Shop with a Cop” bank account.

“Our investigation found that, for years, this officer not only deceived those who generously donated to this charity, but he also stole from the children whom this program was created to help,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Many more kids could have benefited from this charity had this defendant not spent thousands of dollars in donations on himself.”

According to the investigation, Simmons was the coordinator of the program, and he’s alleged to have improperly spent $26,709 in program funds on personal expenses from 2010 to 2016.  

The investigation alleges Simmons spent funds on sporting event tickets, electronics, clothing, and tools. He also allegedly used gift cards purchased with program funds for his personal use.

A warrant was issued for Simmons Monday afternoon. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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