Ex-policeman, wife sentenced

September 25, 2007

A former Baltimore police officer and his wife were sentenced to federal prison yesterday for reporting crimes that never occurred so they could receive more than $10,000 in insurance payments, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Michael B. Nelson, 26, will spend one year and one day in prison followed by two years of supervised release, prosecutors said.

His wife, Tierra Spencer Nelson, 24, was sentenced to five months in prison followed by five months of home detention and three years supervised release, prosecutors said.

The Nelsons each pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The couple confessed in court to filing falsified reports on a car that was never stolen, a burglary that did not happen and a fictional traffic accident.

Nelson joined the city Police Department in June 2002 and resigned in January. He worked in the Western District and at the Central Booking and Intake Center.

Prosecutors said the Nelsons were caught when Tierra Nelson told an FBI informant that her husband was selling fake police reports to be used to obtain money from insurance companies.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors said, the Nelsons agreed to reimburse State Farm Insurance Co. $10,766.

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