- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) - A former Hastings police detective has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor theft count for running a fraudulent fundraising site.

The Nebraska Attorney General’s Office says Jerry Esch entered the plea Friday in Adams County District Court.

Prosecutors say that in November 2015, Esch was an officer with the Hastings Police Department when he created a GoFundMe page, asking for money to cover medical expenses for cancer treatment. He raised more than $30,000.

Officials say that while Esch did have cancer, he did not have the medical bills he claimed to have incurred.

Esch has been ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution. He is no longer employed by the Hastings department.

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