Final former Chicago Police officer sentenced in Operation Tow Scam

SHARE Final former Chicago Police officer sentenced in Operation Tow Scam

Former Chicago Police officer Francis Zoller, the final defendant in the federal Operation Tow Scam investigation, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison Wednesday.

Zoller, 46, of Chicago, pleaded guilty on June 11, 2014, to one count of attempted extortion under color of official right and one count of mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan sentenced Zoller to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, according to the statement. He was also ordered to pay $14,020 in restitution.

Zoller was one of 11 former officers charged in connection with Operation Tow Scam. The officers extorted money from tow truck drivers, and also used their positions to steer business to favored tow truck drivers at accidents, prosecutors said.

A total of 15 people were charged with extortion, tax fraud, lying to federal agents and accessing federal law enforcement database information during the six-year investigation by the FBI.

Zoller also staged a crash with one tow truck driver, which led an insurance company to issue a check for $17,000 for damages that never occurred.

“Zoller’s misuse of his authority on the streets of Chicago harmed the Chicago Police Department, the citizens he was sworn to protect and the two truck drivers who were trying to make a living at accident scenes,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Donovan wrote in sentencing documents.

Zoller will report to the Bureau of Prisons on Aug. 11.

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