Indiana Sheriff Gets 15 Years for Corruption
Former Lake County sheriff convicted of taking bribes for towing services.
Jan. 16, 2018
CROWN POINT, Ind.--The former sheriff of Lake County was sentenced Tuesday, to serve 15 years in federal prison after being convicted of corruption. John Buncich will also pay a quarter million dollar fine.
Buncich was found guilty in August of taking money from William Szarmach, who owns CSA Towing in Lake Station, and Scott Jurgenson, owner of Sampson Towing Co., and giving them all of the sheriff's department's towing business for violations in Gary.
U.S. Atty. Thomas L. Kirsch, II, said Buncich got over $25,000 in cash and $7,000 in checks from the scheme, which lasted two years, from 2014 to 2016.
The payments were collected by former Chief of the Lake County Sheriff's Dept. Timothy Downs.
Downs and Szarmach have both pleaded guilty to fraud and are awaiting their sentences.
Kirsch said Jurgenson, who was a cop in Merillville, helped a great deal with the investigation.
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