Former Shelby police chief pleads guilty to embezzlement

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has announced that former Village of Shelby Police Chief Robert Wilson has pled guilty to a felony count of Embezzlement $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, and one count of Motor Vehicle - False Certification.

Wilson entered his plea on Friday April 21, 2017, in front of Judge Robert D. Springstead of the 27th Circuit Court in Hart, covering Newaygo and Oceana Counties.

Wilson was charged following an investigation into the salvage vehicle inspections he conducted which revealed he was not turning the collected fees over to the Village of Shelby in Oceana County. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5th at 1:30 p.m. at the 27th Circuit Court.

Case Background

Wilson, who was terminated from his position as Village of Shelby Police Chief as a result of this investigation, performed 699 salvage vehicle inspections between December 2013 and November 2015 without turning the fees over to the Village of Shelby. Per Michigan statute, inspections done by Michigan law enforcement officers on salvage vehicles can cost up to $100.

At the time of his indictment on the charges, the total amount he had embezzled was estimated at $70,000. At the time of his indictment, Wilson has been certified to conduct the inspections since 1995.

The criminal charges cap a months-long investigation by Michigan State Police into allegations the long-serving cop had been pocketing money for inspecting salvage vehicles.

Wilson (at right) did not inform government officials in Shelby that he was collecting inspection fees.

Michigan Salvage Titles

Salvage titles are issued for a vehicle that has become a “distressed vehicle.” A vehicle with a salvage title cannot be plated or used on public roads until it is recertified by a specially trained police officer and retitled.

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