COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A former Columbus police officer will not do prison time for insurance fraud.
Yolanda Black Burton was a three year patrol veteran in the Columbus Police Department when she and her ex-boyfriend devised a scheme to file false insurance claims on stolen vehicles.
She pled guilty to the federal charge in February of 2010 and was sentenced to five years probation Thursday. She must also pay more than $9,000 in restitution.
District Court Judge Clay Land says Black Burton knew about the plan to report two of her ex's vehicles stolen so they could file a claim with his insurance company. He says she never reported it and then lied to the FBI, denying her knowledge of the plan.
When he was rehashing the case in court Thursday, Land said Black Burton needed help with her mortgage payments and her ex could not help her as long as he had his car and motorcycle payments so they both equally came up with the plan to have them stolen and file a false claim. Land said it is inexcusable for a police officer to not notify the proper authorities of the crime and then try to cover it up.
Prosecutors told the Judge they met with Columbus Police Department officials and they all agreed that probation was a fair sentence, as long as the felony conviction was on her record, preventing her from working in law enforcement again.
Her ex-boyfriend says he did not know the plan had been put into place until she called him and told him it had.