A former Mt. Juliet police employee was formally charged for alleged federal program fraud and wire fraud July 10.
David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said former MJPD sergeant Jason Ezell, 40, of Lebanon, Tenn. was charged in criminal information with federal program and wire fraud. His report says criminal information is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
According to a Department of Justice report from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Ezell supervised MJPD's Crime Suppression Unit. The report says a duty of Ezell's was to prepare time cards and overtime logs of the officers who work in support of and assist in federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigations.
The report says "Ezell fraudulently submitted City of Mount Juliet Time Card Reports and OCDETF Authorized Overtime Logs for payment" between January 2013 and April 2015. The report says Ezell represented he worked more "than 500 hours of overtime that he did not in fact work.
"Ezell was paid more than $12,000 for the overtime he claimed," says the report.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, the District Attorney's Office for the 19th Judicial District, and the DEA Office of Inspector General investigated his case.
Ezell was terminated from the MJPD April 29, 2015 after an internal investigation, according to MJPD Sgt. Tyler Chandler.
The reports says if convicted, Ezell faces up to 10 years in prison for federal program fraud and up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and a $250,000 fine for each charge.
Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org