FRANKFORT, Ky. — According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky, the former Greenup County Sheriff, Keith Cooper, 70, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison on Friday, by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, for one count of mail fraud and one count of federal program fraud.
According to his court documents, Cooper was the Greenup County Sheriff for approximately 20 years, until retiring in December 2018. Cooper’s position gave him access to funds the Sheriff’s Office seized from drug trafficking investigations, including a bank account designed to hold those proceeds. Over a four-year period, Cooper made numerous unauthorized cash withdrawals and unlawfully retained proceeds from drug trafficking investigations instead of depositing them into the account. Cooper wrongfully took $58,230 in proceeds, which included $46,100 in unexplained cash withdrawals from the bank account and $12,130 in forfeited proceeds that should have been deposited. Cooper also wrongfully took $29,458.87 in ammunition paid for with Sheriff’s Office funding and wrongfully used county funds to pay for $1,837.26 in fuel used during his personal trips in 2018.
Under federal law, Cooper must serve 85 percent of his prison sentences. Upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for one year. Cooper was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael E. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louisville Field Office; and Daniel Cameron, Kentucky Attorney General, jointly announced the sentence.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigation. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Boone.