Former officer convicted of selling police information to arrestee

Nathan VanBuren
Nathan VanBuren

A federal jury found a former Cumming police sergeant guilty on charges related to searching a police database in exchange for money.

Nathan VanBuren took bribes from someone he had arrested in 2015, U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Bob Page said in a news release. The 35-year-old was indicted June 29 by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and computer fraud.

VanBuren asked an arrestee for a loan, saying that his wages were being garnished and he had debt because of his son’s medical expenses, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

“VanBuren’s salary was not being garnished and his son was neither ill nor had surgery,” Page said. “The citizen felt threatened and reported VanBuren’s actions to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement.”

The arrestee gave VanBuren $5,000 in response to the officer’s repeated requests for money, then asked whether VanBuren would search a sensitive police database to determine whether an individual was an undercover police officer.

Ultimately, in exchange for $1,000, VanBuren unlawfully accessed the database and provided the results to the arrestee, Page said.

The officer resigned before he was fired by Cumming police.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said VanBuren undermined the hard work of officers and the community’s trust and respect for the police.

“VanBuren broke the very laws he swore to uphold and enforce,” Pak said. “Police officers are afforded respect, and are expected to model integrity and honesty.”

Sentencing for VanBuren has not been scheduled.

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