Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and Franklin Adderley, Chief of Police, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, announced that defendant David Michael McElligott, currently serving in the U.S. Air Force at Robins Air Force Base, in Georgia, pled guilty today to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 4, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra. At sentencing, the defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

McElligott, a Fort Lauderdale police officer from 1991 until his resignation late last year, had been on extended military leave, serving in the U.S. Air Force, since 2001. In connection with his change of plea, McElligott admitted in court that since September 2003, he presented the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the City of Fort Lauderdale with falsified Military Leave and Earnings Statements and military orders. McElligott presented the falsified Leave and Earnings Statements to increase the supplemental pay that the City of Fort Lauderdale paid him pursuant to the City’s Supplemental Pay Policy. McElligott presented the falsified military orders so that he could falsely assert his rights under federal law to return to his job as a police officer. All of the falsified documents were sent by McElligott via facsimile and/or e-mail to the payroll department of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. The loss to the City of Fort Lauderdale as a result of McElligott’s fraudulent conduct is approximately $278,000, comprised of supplemental pay, longevity pay and benefits.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI’s Public Corruption squad and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department’s Public Integrity squad, who both participate in the Broward County Public Corruption Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard P. Murad.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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