Former Manning police chief back in federal court Thursday

Former Manning Police Chief to appear in court

MANNING, SC (WIS) - Former Manning Police Chief Blair Shaffer will be back in federal court in Charleston on Thursday. A pretrial conference is scheduled for 10 a.m., as the former officer faces charges of theft of federal funds and money laundering after serving as police chief for more than two decades.

In January, he was arrested and accused of taking more than $10,000 in benefits through various federal programs and hiding nearly $80,000 in a money laundering scheme.

The indictment, which details five different charges, also says that while working as police chief, Shaffer stole property worth at least $5,000 – property controlled by the City of Manning.

The reports of money laundering involve the largest amounts of cash. According to the indictment, Shaffer knowingly worked to hide proceeds tied to the distribution of controlled substances. This then leads to the structuring charge, which says Shaffer deposited nearly $78,514 in cash into multiple different bank accounts belonging to both himself and his wife.

Federal law requires that you file a Currency Transaction Report anytime you make a deposit of $10,000 or more. The indictment claims that between September and November of 2015, Shaffer structured the deposits in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid having to file those CTRs.

The former police chief is also accused of making false statements to FBI agents, claiming the money deposited came from his brother and money he’d saved.

He’d been the chief of police in Manning for 25 years before he was fired in 2018 for “violation of agency policy not involving misconduct.”

Shaffer has pleaded not guilty.

The pretrial conference is set to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday. Jury selection is scheduled for Friday morning.

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