PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Scott P. Haines, 50, of Milton, Florida, was sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison, following his previous guilty plea on the charge of making material false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an elder exploitation investigation. United States Attorney Jason R. Coody announced the sentence.
“Criminal conduct by those sworn to uphold the law represents a betrayal of the public trust,” stated U.S. Attorney Coody. “The corrupt acts of an individual law enforcement officer can erode the public’s trust in the legions of brave men and women who faithfully honor their oaths’ and place their lives on the line each day to keep our communities safe. We will vigorously investigate and prosecute any officer who betrays their sworn oath and the public’s trust.”
During his plea in federal court, Haines admitted that he became personally involved in the real property management and finances of an elderly woman in Santa Rosa County and deposited rental payments from tenants of the elderly woman into his own bank account without authority to do so. When confronted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Haines made material false statements regarding his involvement with the rental properties, the depositing of rental payments into his personal account, and his knowledge and involvement with the Last Will and Testament of the elderly woman of which he became a beneficiary.
“Police officers are given immense trust and responsibility, and are therefore held to a higher standard,” said Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, “so there are serious consequences when one tarnishes the badge by breaking the law. Scott Haines disgraced the uniform when he abused his authority to victimize an elderly individual for his own personal gain, and his sentencing affirms that the FBI has zero tolerance for officials who prey on the citizens they have sworn to protect.”
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office cooperated fully with the FBI/FDLE investigation and immediately relieved Haines of his duties prior to the filing of criminal charges.
Haines will be required to serve one year on federal supervised release following his incarceration. He was formally adjudicated guilty by the United States District Court and is now a felon. Haines previously relinquished his criminal justice certifications.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg prosecuted the case.