HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — A former Hastings police detective has been accused of conning people out of thousands of dollars to pay what he said were medical expenses that officials say were covered by insurance.
Court records say 46-year-old Jerry Esch is charged with theft. A Hastings phone listed for Esch is no longer in service. Court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Nebraska State Patrol investigators say in court documents that Esch wrote a deceptive post on an internet crowdfunding website, asking for help in paying $27,000 in medical expenses not covered by insurance during his battle with melanoma. His doctors had to amputate part of his right leg.
But Hastings officials told investigators that Esch’s story didn’t square with the city’s policy for police.