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June 8, 2006
Court rules on confiscated-property case
PROVIDENCE -- A city police officer can be convicted of embezzling a confiscated minibike even though the officer discarded it, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled today.
The decision means that state officials can face criminal charges for improperly discarding seized property even if the officials don't directly profit from it.
Providence Officer John J. Lough filed the appeal after he was convicted in May 2004 of embezzlement and fraudulent conversion for throwing away a $350 minibike seized from a child three years ago.
Lough took the bike, which had a scratched-out serial number, after a rookie officer seized it because he suspected it was stolen, the ruling said. Police officers told the young driver he could get the bike back if he showed proof of ownership at police headquarters.
Instead of driving the minibike back to the police station, Lough left it behind a trash bin after he got into a traffic accident.
-- The Associated Press
Posted by Kate Bramson at 2:10 PM | Permalink
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