Rene Stutzman and Kevin P. Connolly
February 29, 2016
An Orlando federal judge on Monday sentenced former Longwood Police Chief Tom S. Jackson to four years in prison for accepting $32,000 in bribes from a convicted felon.
An Orlando federal jury had found Jackson guilty in October of three counts of accepting bribes and one count of conspiracy.
He served as Longwood’s police chief from 1997 to 2010.
Jurors concluded that Jackson broke the law when he took money from Samer S. Majzoub, 54, a convicted felon living in Heathrow, in exchange for hiring him at the Longwood Police Department.
State law bans police agencies from hiring convicted felons. It also prohibits them from having guns.
According to a federal grand jury, Jackson not only provided Majzoub with a job, he also provided a badge and use of a gun.
In 2007 Jackson began accepting payments – a series of personal checks – from Majzoub, who was convicted of securities fraud in New York twenty years ago.
Jackson knew that and swore him in as a member of the Longwood Police Department on July 10, 2009, according to the indictment.
But current Police Chief David Dowda and defense attorney Robert Leventhal say Majzoub was never added to the city’s payroll.
Leventhal said Jackson believed there was a legitimate way to have Majzoub cleared by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to become a certified law enforcement officer but that FDLE turned him down.
According to the indictment, Jackson swore him in first, a month before he sent the request to FDLE.
A month later Majzoub gave Jackson a check for $5,500.
That was one of six checks totaling $32,000 that Majzoub gave him between 2007 and 2010, according to the indictment.
Leventhal described those payments as loans.
The city paid Jackson $98,000 a year.
Majzoub did get a badge and Longwood Police Department business cards, Leventhal said. Majzoub was given use of a city-owned gun but only at the department’s shooting range.
Majzoub is currently a fugitive, named in the same indictment as Jackson.
According to a 1994 civil complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Majzoub’s company, Special Delivery Services, violated federal antifraud regulations by lying to investors and hiding inflated payments to brokers.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud in Manhattan federal court and was sentenced to three years of supervised release in 1993, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa. He also was ordered to pay $1 million in restitution.
In Orlando on Monday U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell sentenced Jackson to four years in prison followed by a year of supervised release.
He ordered Jackson, who lives in Murphy, N.C., to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons by the end of next week.
Rene Stutzman and Kevin P. Connolly, February 29, 2016, Orlando Sentinel, “Former Longwood police chief gets 4 years in bribery case”, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ex-longwood-police-chief-sentenced-20160229-story.html?platform=hootsuite