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Former LaRue Co. Sheriff pleads guilty to embezzling money

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Former LaRue County Sheriff Bobby Shoffner pled guilty in United States District Court on Thursday, June 22 before United States District Judge David J. Hale, to a felony information charging him with a single count of embezzling money, that was under his care and custody, and belonged to LaRue County, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

“When any elected official uses public office for self-enrichment, we are all harmed,” said U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “But when that elected official is a law enforcement officer, the theft is doubly shameful. Shoffner’s actions erode our faith in those honorable men and women of law enforcement who take their oath to uphold and enforce the law as a solemn and inviolate obligation. Thankfully, his greed and selfishness make him a rare outlier in the ranks of the valiant and dedicated law enforcement personnel who serve all throughout Kentucky.” 

Bobby Carlton Shoffner, 58, of Hodgenville was the LaRue County Sheriff in 2011 and 2012 and during that time was responsible for collecting and remitting franchise tax payments and property tax payments. Shoffner admitted in court on Thursday, June 22 that between November 2011 and April 2012, he embezzled $21,901 in property tax receipts.

Shoffner was also responsible for collecting penalties on payments.  Between 2011 and 2012 Shoffner accepted $1,138 in penalty payments from citizens of LaRue County, but waived those payments in the County computer system, and kept the payments for his own personal use.

As sheriff, Shoffner was provided a credit card for official business use. Through 2012, Shoffner used the credit card to pay for $3,200 in personal expenses, including expenses for DirectTV, golf shoes, and Abercrombie & Fitch.

In 2011, Shoffner hired a relative to work in the Sheriff’s Office.  Although a previous employee was paid $12/hour part-time, Shoffner’s relative was paid over $30,000 per year to do the same job full-time.  That relative did not work full time, and often was not in the office, resulting in a loss of $10,000.  After Shoffner’s relative left employment with the Sheriff’s Office, a new part-time employee was hired at $12/hour.    

According to the plea agreement, Shoffner “understands that the charge to which he plead guilty carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a maximum 3 year term of supervised release.”

In court on June 22, Shoffner agreed to pay $36,239 in restitution to LaRue County, Kentucky and pay a $1,000 fine at the time of sentencing. Sentencing is scheduled before Judge Hale on September 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Louisville.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Public Integrity Unit of the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General.