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Former Buffalo officer sentenced

Former Buffalo Police Officer Johnnie Fritz, 49, of Buffalo, has been sentenced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny was sentenced to 10 months home confinement for conviction of mail fraud.

Fritz was also ordered to pay $6,400 in restitution.

Fritz, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell T. Ippolito Jr., conspired with another individual to defraud State Farm Automobile Insurance Company by inflating a claim for automobile insurance policy proceeds between April 20 and June 9, 2009. The defendant assisted the co-conspirator in making a claim with State Farm following the theft of the co-conspirator’s automobile, a 2003 Cadillac CTS. The claim included two fraudulent receipts. Fritz also made three other unrelated false claims for automobile insurance policy proceeds involving three other vehicles.

In addition, Fritz abused his position as a police officer with the Buffalo Police Department in October 2009 when he unlawfully opened a Department of Motor Vehicles account that enabled him to search DMV databases at no charge. Only law enforcement officials could open a DMV no-fee account like the one opened by Fritz.

The defendant was convicted on June 9, 2011, in Buffalo City Court of attempted fourth-degree grand larceny and failure to keep records under the state tax law for his failure to pay sales tax receipts related to his automobile dealership.