Former deputy gets probation for insurance fraudPublished 4:57pm Monday, November 25, 2013
A former Cass County Sheriff’s Deputy was sentenced to a year of probation Monday for charges stemming from his role in staging a fake car accident earlier this year.
Steven Keene, 48, of Dowagiac, received the sentence from Judge Alexander Lipsey in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court, according to County Prosecutor Jeff Getting.
Keene pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, a felony carrying a maximum of a 10-year sentence. Keene also admitted to a charge of neglect of duty, a misdemeanor. The guilty plea was arranged between Keene, his council and Kalamazoo County prosecutors, in exchange for dropping three other counts prosecutors originally charged him with.
The charges that prosecutors dropped against Keene included counts of insurance fraud and falsifying evidence, which stemmed from a staged deer-car accident the officer allegedly helped a friend set up earlier this year. Prosecutors claim that Keene later submitted a falsified accident report to his office, which Keene’s friend used to collect the insurance payout in order to pay for a new vehicle.
Keene was also accused of obstruction of justice, relating to an incident where Keene allegedly provided false information to police about a car accident concerning another of friends.
Due to Keene’s position with the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, his case was given to the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office.
Keene had served as a deputy sheriff with the county for 25 years and was even honored by the Board of Commissioners earlier this year. He retired from the position following his arrest. Keene also worked part-time with the Silver Creek Township Police.