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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cop Indicted on Identity Theft Charges

Montgomery officer indicted on fraud charges
The Montgomery Advertiser by Matt Okarmus - February 25, 2011

Montgomery, AL - A Montgomery Police Department officer was indicted on federal wire fraud and identity theft charges, according to a statement released Friday from U.S. Attorney Leura G. Canary. The indictment identifies Bradley Howard Pemberton, 41, a MPD sergeant. It alleges that through his position he was authorized to access the Law Enforcement Tactical System, which is maintained by the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center. LETS provides law enforcement personnel with Alabama drivers license information, including a driver’s Social Security number, date of birth and home address, the release states. While the information is to be used for law enforcement purposes only, the indictment alleges on Dec. 2, 2008, Pemberton used LETS to obtain the Social Security number and date of birth of an individual with the initials “BNP.” Pemberton applied for a Discover Card credit card over the Internet using his own address, but BNP’s name, Social Security number and date of birth, the release states. Discover Card opened an account based on the application and Pemberton used the account to make payments on a previously fraudulently obtained American Express card account. If convicted on both counts, Pemberton would face a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of two years imprisonment, a maximum sentence of 22 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $500,000, and an order of restitution, the release states. In a statement released from the Department of Public Safety, Director Chris Murphy says the MPD placed Pemberton on mandatory leave with pay effective Feb. 10, 2011. The Department of Public Safety asked the Office of City Investigations to review the matter and after consultation with the attorney assigned, the MPD initiated proceedings to terminate Pemberton’s employment, Murphy said in the statement. Pemberton was employed with MPD in April 1994. He is assigned to the Administrative Division as a police desk sergeant. “Police officers have great authority, and with that authority comes great responsibility,” Murphy said. “In such a position of public trust, there are clear consequences when the high standards the city of Montgomery sets are not met. Mayor (Todd) Strange, Chief (Kevin) Murphy and I are committed to accountability to the people we serve.” At Pemberton’s initial appearance Friday before United States Magistrate Judge Terry Moorer, Pemberton was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Arraignment has been set for April 6, 2011. The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, with the cooperation of the MPD.

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