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LEBANON, OH (FOX19) -
A former police officer was sentenced on Friday for keeping funds that were meant for the family of a Warren County deputy killed in the line of duty.
Ryan Hunt is a former Morrow Police Officer who hosted a golf fundraiser in July of 2011 for the family of Sgt. Brian Dulle, who was killed in May of 2011 while laying stop sticks during a chase. According to Hunt's self-produced revenue and expense statement, the event made over $9,600 in profit.
In January, Hunt waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to theft and tampering with evidence. He also pleaded no contest to two other counts of theft involving a mail scheme unrelated to the Dulle case. He was found guilty of those charges.
In March of 2012, Warren Co. Sheriff Larry Sims learned that none of the money had been transferred to Sgt. Dulle's widow, and launched an investigation that led to the charges against Hunt.
"It was kind of difficult to identify all the money that came in, the gross amounts. There was not complete records for the most part. There was not a lot of good accounting for the money that was going out," revealed Sims.
Sims says the worst part of the case is the breach of trust.
"It is a betrayal. It's hurtful to a lot of people. It should be hurtful to the community. We take a lot of pride, law enforcement takes a lot of pride in what we do, and this has an additional important component in that he was their friend."
Special prosecutor, Carol O'Brien, describes the case as a shell game. "Paper cases are not fun, and that's what this is. They were looking into bank account after bank account after bank account, and they were tracking down receipts, and they were talking to vendors. It was just very, very difficult."
Dulle's father said Hunt eventually turned over $12,000 to the family.
O'Brien says Hunt repaid the money using funds he stole from a client of his printing business.
"He ripped them off of about $38,000 to 40,000. He would contract with the company to print fliers, and then mail the fliers, mass mailings... 900,000... anywhere from 600,000 to 900,000 or more, and then he would not mail all of it."
Investigators say Hunt used the money to pay off some loans.
Hunt will spend 90 days in jail, serve five years of probation and pay $35,000 to the Dulle Family.