A former Dunwoody Police detective has pleaded guilty to disclosing sensitive law enforcement information in exchange for receiving kickbacks for him and his family.
Robert Pasquale Bentivegna, 64, of Woodstock, Georgia, pleaded guilty to computer fraud for accessing information in the GCIC database for an improper purpose. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1, 2015 before United States District Judge Leigh Martin May.
“It is a sad day when a career law enforcement officer turns his back on decades of public service by selling his access to sensitive law enforcement information,” Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn said. “Bentivegna’s conduct undermines trust in law enforcement and could have exposed the public to significant harm.”
Bentivegna, in exchange for valuable personal items for himself and his family, performed searches and informed the confidential informant about active arrest warrants listed under the informant’s name in the Georgia Crime Information Center (“GCIC”) database.
Such information can be valuable information to criminals, allowing them to flee before authorities can arrest them. In exchange, over the course of approximately 18 months, Bentivegna received airline tickets for his wife and him to travel to New York. His daughter received a convertible car, which she used for over a year, and his son received a car to drive for a period of time.
FBI Atlanta Field Office Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson said the FBI’s number one criminal investigative program remains that of public corruption due to the vast harm that it can cause.
“The guilty plea of former Dunwoody Det. Bentivegna illustrates the betrayal of the badge by a very seasoned law enforcement officer and the consequences that he now faces for this betrayal,” Johnson said.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: In July 2011, Bentivegna, a career law enforcement officer employed at the time with the Dunwoody, Georgia, Police Department and who had also served as a federal task force officer, began using an individual connected with a variety of illegal activities as a confidential informant.
“Acts of corruption within the Department of Homeland Security represent a serious threat to our nation and undermines the integrity of all DHS employees, who strive to maintain the integrity of the Department,” said James E. Ward, Special Agent in Charge, DHS-OIG. “The Office of Inspector General and its law enforcement partners will continue to pursue allegations of corruption and hold such shameless individuals like Mr. Bentivegna accountable.”
Assistant United States Attorney Garrett L. Bradford is prosecuting the case.