A former Northern Kentucky police chief accused of using credit cards to steal more than $100,000 from the police department was released from jail Monday.
Former Highland Heights police chief Carl Mullen, 49, of Fort Thomas was charged with one count of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
The indictment, filed Thursday, was unsealed Monday morning.
According to the release and the indictment, Mullen used credit cards issued to police officers and to the Highland Heights Southgate Police Authority to obtain cash advances totaling $115,680 over two years.
"Mullen falsely claimed these funds were for legitimate police investigations," the release said.
The police authority applied for and received 12 credit cards in 2009. The cards were meant to be used for business expenses.
Three cards were issued in the name of the police authority, and nine were given to various police officers. According to the indictment, Mullen obtained cash advances using the credit cards and instructed a financial officer to pay the balance from the police authority's budget.
"Mullen arranged it so that he was the sole person reviewing the bills and verifying that the expenditures ... were for legitimate expenses," the indictment said.
Mullen was released from jail after he appeared in federal court in Covington on Monday for a detention hearing. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to wear an electronic monitor at all times, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
His trial was scheduled for Aug. 22.
The Kentucky Enquirer reported that Highland Heights Mayor Greg Meyers released a written statement, saying officials referred the case to the FBI after finding accounting discrepancies after Mullen's retirement earlier this year. The paper reported previously that the investigation began in February.
If convicted, Mullen faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for wire fraud, plus a mandatory two years imprisonment on each of the identity theft counts.