On Thursday, September 8, 2016, Scott Raymond Beard, 46, a former Deschutes County Sheriff Captain and resident of Deschutes County, Oregon, was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing over $200,000 in public funds he was entrusted to manage. At least sixty-three times over a two-year periiod, Beard falsified records to steal money designated for use in combating drug crimes.
At the sentencing hearing, Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson attested to the damage Beard’s abuse of trust caused to the community, and to the men and women working in law enforcement. Sheriff Nelson explained that Beard “betrayed the ideals of the law enforcement profession. He was in a position of absolute trust, and he abused this trust for his own gain.”
Judge McShane acknowledged the importance of citizens being able to have complete trust in those called to serve their communities as police officers. When imposing the sentence, he admonished Beard that the community has to know that this conduct will not be tolerated. Judge McShane pointed to Beard’s pervasive violation of the public trust placed in him by Sheriff Nelson, fellow law enforcement officers, state prosecutors, and his own community. Judge McShane further ordered Beard to serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison term.
During the investigation, Beard told federal agents that he donated $10,000 of the stolen money to a South African orphanage. Orphanage records show that his actual donation was less than $92. In reality, Beard laundered the money through the bank account of his mistress, Krista Jean Mudrick, showering her with cash to support a lifestyle that included vacations and multiple cosmetic surgeries for Mudrick.
The sentencing followed Beard’s May 2016 guilty plea to two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and two counts of money laundering. An audit ordered by newly appointed Sheriff Nelson uncovered Beard’s crimes. After a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Beard and Mudrick, the Sheriff’s office fired him. Mudrick has also been federally charged with making materially false statements to federal agents investigating Beard’s crimes.
U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said “Law enforcement officers who steal public funds harm the entire community. We rely on the honesty and integrity of every law enforcement officer to do the right thing. Beard’s greed undermined the good work done by his fellow officers and this sentence sends a clear signal that crimes committed by law enforcement officers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon of IRS Criminal Investigation commented that “Criminals are sentenced to prison every day for actions driven by greed, but the level of greed that Beard sunk to is really beyond belief. This is an individual who, as a member of the law enforcement community, took an oath to uphold the law.”