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Former Hazel Park Detective Sentenced for Embezzling Public Asset Forfeiture Funds

LANSING - A former Hazel Park police detective who pleaded guilty to embezzlement by a public official has been sentenced, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today. 

In December, Sean Boucher agreed to pay restitution and relinquish his MCOLES certification during a plea hearing. He admitted to embezzling about $68,000 in public asset forfeiture funds for his own personal use over the course of several incidents between 2013 and 2017.  

Tuesday afternoon, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot sentenced Boucher to three years' probation and seized a portion of his pension. 

The forfeited amount is anything that accrued into his pension on or after Jan. 1, 2013, when Boucher first began embezzling. 

The other terms of the plea - restitution and MCOLES relinquishing - have already been met by Boucher. 

Hazel Park Chief of Police Brian Buchholz submitted a victim impact statement to the Court ahead of the sentencing. A portion reads: 

"The mental and emotional impact on employees of the police department and city has also taken its toll. The trust that Mr. Boucher broke continues to have an impact on the level of trust we need to have in each other as we are asked to put our lives on the line. There are many of us that have lost sleep dealing with the added stress that these crimes have caused. The amount of time spent investigating Mr. Boucher's crimes lasted over a year and a half and cost the city immensely. The city also had to accrue the expense of hiring an auditor to look at the records in this investigation. The integrity of the Hazel Park Police Department has been brought into question and these crimes have affected our reputation in more ways than we can measure. The community needs to trust their police department in order to feel protected and safe. Police officers should be held to a higher standard than the general public. We are asking that the sentence Mr. Boucher receives serves as a deterrent against future misconduct from all police officers and public officials." 

Boucher was placed on administrative leave Sept. 11, 2017, by the Hazel Park Police Department and suspended the following day. He resigned Sept. 15, 2017. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force assisted in the investigation, which was then presented to the Michigan Department of Attorney General for prosecution. 

"Sean Boucher violated the oath he took to protect and serve the citizens of Hazel Park by stealing forfeiture money for his personal use," Josh Hauxhurst, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan, said. "His actions do not reflect the professionalism of the men and women of the Hazel Park Police Department. The FBI will continue to work alongside the Attorney General's office and our law enforcement partners to hold corrupt police officers accountable for their actions." 

"I appreciate the partnership between our local and federal partners that drove this case from beginning to end," Nessel said. "We remain committed to ensuring those who took an oath to serve the public are held accountable when that position is exploited for personal gain." 

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