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Former W.Va. State Police sergeant faces mail fraud charges

January 13, 2006|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

charlestown@herald-mail.com

A former West Virginia State Police sergeant who was a supervisor of the state police detachment in Martinsburg has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of mail fraud after an audit of the detachment's evidence room revealed that $18,542 was missing, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Johnston.

The case involved reports that were altered or were fraudulent and investigations that did not occur, according to the indictment.

George William Bradshaw III, of 614 E. Moler Ave., Martinsburg, surrendered to an arrest warrant Nov. 17 and was released on bond, according to Johnston's office.

Bradshaw, 58, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Bradshaw, who retired from the force, is the second former state police sergeant in the Eastern Panhandle to face a mail fraud charge.

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On Dec. 6, David Delbert Forman, who was a sergeant in the Jefferson County barrack and who also was a commander of the Martinsburg detachment, pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

According to the indictment against Bradshaw, which was handed up Nov. 15 by a federal grand jury in Martinsburg, Bradshaw was the "evidence custodian" at the Martinsburg state police detachment.

When money is seized by state police, the investigator completes a property disposition report which specifies the amount of money seized and from whom it was seized, the indictment said.

When the money arrives in the detachment, it is logged into evidence with the completion of an evidence log sheet, the indictment said.

The indictment alleges that from about Oct. 1, 1999, to about Sept. 13, 2002, Bradshaw devised a scheme of obtaining money by "fraudulent pretenses."

The case involved the removal of two forms, including the property disposition report. The forms would be replaced with altered or fraudulent forms, the indictment alleges.

The indictment gives examples of the alleged incidents, including:

  • On Nov. 21, $1,197 was seized by state police. Only $247 was found in an investigator's evidence locker. An evidence log sheet was reviewed but the document related to a blood alcohol kit from a sexual assault investigation that did not occur, the indictment alleges. The indictment states $950 of the seized money cannot be found.

  • On Nov. 20, 2000, state police seized $1,045. A property disposition report and an evidence log sheet reflect some nonmonetary seizures in the case, but no forms were found in evidence records for the seized cash, the indictment states. The nonmonetary seizure was identified as evidence log number 00-137. Evidence log number 00-138, which should have reflected the $1,045, identifies a blood alcohol kit in a sexual assault investigation that did not occur, the indictment states.



As a result of the audit of the evidence room, authorities discovered that money totaling $18,542 was missing from 20 cases, according to the indictment.

Part of Bradshaw's duties were reporting annually to the state treasurer's office an accounting of all property seized, the indictment states.

According to a press release from Johnston, Bradshaw caused correspondence which contained state treasurer forms to be mailed June 7, 2001, from Jefferson County to the state police headquarters.

The mail fraud violation carries a possible punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

A state police captain in charge of the professional standards section of the state police said Thursday he was not aware of the state police re-examining any of its evidence collection procedures as a result of the Bradshaw case.

But Capt. Joe Parsons emphasized that the cases against Bradshaw and Forman were the result of internal investigations handled by the state police.

"I think that as we identify problems or problem officers, we are taking appropriate actions in dealing with them," Parsons said.

Bradshaw is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 22 in U.S. District Court, Johnston said.

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