Yesterday, in Adams County District Court, Jerry Esch, age 46, was sentenced to 24 months of probation, 120 days’ home confinement, 10 days in jail, and ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution, for one count of theft by deception, a Class I misdemeanor.
In November 2015, Esch was a police officer with the Hastings Police Department. While employed with the Department, he created a GoFundMe page in which he asked for money to cover medical expenses he claimed to have incurred due to having cancer. While Esch did have cancer, he did not have the medical bills he claimed to have incurred. Many individuals donated money in reliance on Esch’s claims.
Assistant Attorney General Laura Nigro prosecuted the case, and the Nebraska State Patrol investigated.