Former Michigan Department of Treasury Employee Charged with Two Felonies

Contact: Kelly Rossman-McKinney 517-335-7666
Agency: Attorney General

April 18, 2019

LANSING – At the direction of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel former Michigan Department of Treasury employee Casey Sawyer, 48, of Lansing was arrested and charged with two felonies in the 56th District Court in Eaton County.

Sawyer was charged with:

  • One felony count of Unauthorized Disclosure of Tax Information, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or $5,000; and
  • One felony count of Using a Computer to Commit a Crime (Maximum Imprisonment of Four Years or More but Less than 10 Years), with a maximum sentence of 7 years and/or $5,000.

Charges filed today follow an investigation led by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in tandem with the Michigan Department of Treasury after the Treasury Department became aware that Sawyer had accessed Treasury’s databases to view tax return information for reasons that were unrelated to her job responsibilities. 

Sawyer worked at the Michigan Department of Treasury from 1997 until 2018.  Sawyer had access to highly secured computer-based data systems used to store confidential tax information and personal identifying information of Michigan taxpayers. 

Sawyer, like all Treasury employees, was required to complete annual training on maintaining confidentiality and security of information possessed by Treasury. This training also included a warning that employees were prohibited from viewing, or “browsing,” tax returns for any purpose other than completing their assigned job duties. Despite these warnings, Sawyer accessed the computer databases maintained by Treasury to view the victim’s tax return information.

“While it’s disgraceful a state employee appears to have taken advantage of her position to illegally obtain confidential information, I am incredibly proud of the work the team of investigators did to bring this case to light,” Nessel said. “I am confident justice will prevail.”

“Our internal controls worked to identify and isolate this incident,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “The vast majority of our employees respect taxpayers and closely follow state laws to serve our fellow Michiganders. Those who use their positions for illegal personal gain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Sawyer was arraigned before Judge Reincke of the 56th District Court and given a $500 bond.

A probable cause conference is scheduled for 1:30 PM, May 2, 2019; preliminary exam 10:30 AM, May 9, 2019. 

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PLEASE NOTE: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Booking photos will no longer be provided by the Department of Attorney General but may be available from the booking agency.

Mugshot available at Eaton County Sheriff's Department 517-543-7500.