Attorney General Charges Chester Police Officer for Selling Impounded Vehicle

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HARRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced charges against a Chester Police Department officer for using his credentials to illegally access information in order to fraudulently obtain and sell an impounded vehicle.

“Rather than fulfilling his oath to serve the people of Chester, the defendant used his position of power and access to obtain and sell an impounded vehicle,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Enforcing the law does not put you above it. My office will continue to uncover public corruption — wherever it’s found.”

According to Shapiro, an investigation revealed that in August 2020, Robert Shaughnessy, 35, provided a vehicle identification number (VIN) from a police impounded blue 2013 Yamaha ATV to another person so that person could create a phony bill of sale and take unlawful ownership of the vehicle. Shaughnessy also used his police credentials to access the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network (CLEAN) to confirm that the ATV was not listed as a stolen vehicle. CLEAN access is restricted to law enforcement personnel for official use only, and accessing the system for personal reasons is prohibited.

After the individual successfully obtained the ATV using the false document, records show Shaughnessy texted, “I can get you more [vehicles] when I tow em with no title.”

Shaughnessy is being charged with Criminal Conspiracy to Commit Theft by Deception, Unlawful Use of a Computer, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility, Official Oppression, and Obstructing Administration of the Law or Other Government Function.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Megan Madaffari. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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