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East Chicago cop pleads guilty to federal embezzlement count

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CROWN POINT — A federal magistrate recommends an East Chicago police officer’s guilty plea to defrauding fellow officers be accepted.

Francisco Aleman appeared Tuesday afternoon before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich.

Join Tristan DeFord, Jami Rieck, and Nancy Zakutanksky on a shift working for Superior Ambulance in Merrillville.

Aleman admitted he stole $70,151 from the Fraternal Order of Police’s Lodge 59 in East Chicago between 2016 and 2019 when he was its treasurer.

The magistrate is allowing Aleman to remain free on bond pending the sentencing, which is yet to be scheduled.

The magistrate ordered Aleman, a 14-year veteran of the East Chicago police force, to surrender his passport, firearms permit and firearms, while free on bond.

Aleman signed an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office to give up his right to make federal prosecutors prove the allegations against him at a jury trial in return for a more lenient sentence.

Complaints by FOP members about missing money triggered an investigation state police and the FBI’s Organized Crime and Corruption Unit two years ago.

The U.S. Attorney charged Aleman late last month with illegally diverting FOP dues to his personal bank account on dozens of occasions.


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