UPDATE: (11:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 20): Current Greenup County Sheriff Matt Smith released a statement following Keith Cooper’s indictment.
As your Greenup County Sheriff, my staff and I stand proud of the work and effort that we have put forth to fulfill that promise…. My office has cooperated with full transparency, working diligently with local, state and federal agencies.Matt Smith, Greenup County Sheriff
Smith goes on to say the f-b-I has instructed their staff to not make any further comments on the matter.
We spoke with locals who lived in the area while he assumed the duties of sheriff. Some, who prefer to remain anonymous, say there have been rumors for years of this kind of activity and this is not surprising.
However, there are others who had different reactions.
It was a surprise to me for sure. I mean, you go in and talk to a guy and he’s friendly and then the next thing I know, I’m reading about him on the internet that he’s embezzled all this money and done all kinds of stuff with his power of sheriff he shouldn’t have been doing.Irv Stone, Greenup County resident
Cooper’s court date in the Eastern District of Kentucky has not been scheduled yet.
FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – A former Greenup County Sheriff has been indicted for fraud and theft.
Last week, a federal grand jury sitting in Covington returned an indictment charging 68-year-old Keith Cooper with one count of mail fraud and one count of theft of property from a federally funded agency.
The indictment states that from 2013 through March 2017, Cooper fraudulently obtained over $50,000 in cash, by making withdrawals and failing to deposit money into a bank account used for law enforcement funds.
The indictment continues to say that Cooper directed Greenup County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriffs to purchase ammunition that did not correspond to firearms issued to them for official duty purposes. It does on to say he is also accused of then relocating multiple boxes of the ammunition to his private residence.
The indictment also alleges that Cooper unlawfully retained approximately 35,000 rounds of ammunition, which was purchased with approximately $30,000 in public funds. Cooper is also accused of using a vehicle and fuel purchased with Greenup County funds to take a variety of personal out-of-state trips.
He faces up to 20 years of imprisonment for mail fraud, 10 years of imprisonment for theft of public funds, and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each count. Any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the Court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the FBI and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office, with the cooperation of the Greenup County Sheriff’s Office. The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Boone.
Cooper’s court date in the Eastern District of Kentucky has not yet been scheduled.