Scott Gardner

Former East Cleveland Police Chief Scott Gardner is charged with alleged financial crimes, which include collecting and failing to remit sales tax, passing bad checks, theft in office and money laundering. Gardner became the first of 18 former East Cleveland officers to be charged stemming from an FBI investigation into the department that began in 2017. Gardner was offered a plea deal of guilty to one count each of theft and collecting and failing to remit taxes, which are both fourth-degree felonies carrying the presumption of probation. Under the deal, Gardner would have had to repay the state of Ohio and prosecutors would dismissed the remaining 22 felony charges. Gardner turned down the plea offer so he faces One count of aggravated theft; One count of telecommunications fraud; Six counts of collecting and failing to remit; Six counts of fraudulent actions concerning a tax return; One count of tampering with records; Three counts of passing bad checks; Two counts of money laundering; Two counts of theft in office; and Two counts of grand theft.