Moonlighting Miami-Dade cop George Price was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday, after admitting he fabricated police reports claiming people with bad credit histories were “victims” of identity theft.
Price sold the falsified reports so they could be used to remove blemishes from the purported victims' credit histories.
Price, 42, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in August for his supporting role in an alleged credit-repair ring. Price, who joined the force in 1999, has since resigned.
He faced up to 20 years in prison on his fraud conviction in Miami federal court, but U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez gave him a substantially shorter sentence because he pleaded guilty and has assisted the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in their investigation, according to a plea deal signed by Price, his defense attorney, Marshall Dore Louis and the prosecutor, Michael Davis.
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Price wrote up 159 bogus police reports but didn't make much for exploiting his badge: $7,000. He must turn over to the feds the bribery payments he received in 2010-11.
Price was not operating alone.
Through an intermediary, he was working for Vanessa and Mario Perez, a Miami-Dade couple who already pleaded guilty. They made more than $322,000 by clearing up the lousy credit reports of people with bad bill-paying histories, according to court records.
Price and at least three other police officers and an unnamed person wrote 215 falsified police reports for $200 to $250 a pop that the couple used to claim their customers were victims of identity theft when they were not, court records show.
Vanessa Perez's “intermediary” in dealing with Price was Mitchell Page, one of her customers and a friend of the officer's. Last year, Page pleaded guilty for his role. A statement filed with his plea agreement noted that Page “would deliver a portion” of each bribe payment to Price and would “keep the remainder for himself.”
Also charged earlier this year with Price: fellow Miami-Dade Police Officer Rafael Duran, 43, who has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.