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Former Police Chief Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud, Filing False Tax Return

Robert Reznick skirted tax laws to sell firearms to his "reserve officers."

March 26, 2019 - 8:06 pm

OAKLEY, Mich. (WWJ) -- A former police chief of a small village in Saginaw County has pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and filing a false income tax return for 2012.

United State Attorney Matthew Schneider announced Tuesday that Robert J. Reznick of Swartz Creek, Mich., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris in Bay City, Mich.

Records show that Reznick fraudulently used his position as police chief to obtain reduced prices on firearms, ammunition, and other equipment from suppliers located both in and outside the state, according to a press release from the US Attorney's office. Reznick then reportedly sold the merchandise to his "reserve officers" for his personal profit.

Though the population of the Village of Oakley was less than 300 people, Reznick recruited and maintained a roster of approximately 120 reserve officers for the Oakley Police Department, many of whom were affluent professionals or otherwise prominent individuals who lived outside of, and distant from, the Village of Oakley.

Detroit musician Kid Rock was reportedly among the reserve officers.

Reznick also used his position as police chief to facilitate the sale of assault shotguns, which had the capacity to hold 16 rounds, from an out-of-state vendor for some of his customers and thereby enabled the purchasers of those shotguns to evade the federal and state taxes on the transactions, according to the attorney's office.

In addition to the wire fraud charge, Reznick pleaded guilty to willfully filing a false 2012 federal income tax return, and acknowledged under-reporting his income on tax returns for additional years. The criminal tax loss that resulted from the false report was just shy of $90,000.

"Former Police Chief Reznick’s guilty plea demonstrates that no one is above the law in Michigan — and that includes those who enforce the law," Schneider said in a press release. "The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that those entrusted with enforcing the law follow it themselves, and when they do not, we will hold them fully accountable."

ATF Special Agent in Charge James Deir says instead of serving and protecting his community, Reznick decided to break the law for personal gain.

"ATF will never waver in our commitment to protecting the community and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold all citizens accountable." Deir said.

The case was investigated by special agents from both ATF and IRS-CI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Flint and Bay City branch offices