Former Davidson County Judge Casey Moreland was taken into custody again Thursday after the FBI filed an obstruction of justice charge against him. This comes almost exactly one year after he was accused of the same thing — trying to interfere with an ongoing FBI investigation into his actions.
In late January 2017, federal agents began investigating whether Moreland had exchanged his legal influence as a judge for sexual favors and other benefits, according to the criminal complaint.
But before the FBI could wrap that up, they went public in March, accusing Moreland of witness tampering: attempting to bribe a woman with whom he had sex into staying quiet during the investigation, by offering her $5,100 — and trying to plant drugs in her car to discredit her, according to court documents.
The New Charges
Now, the new charge deals with a nonprofit foundation connected to his rehabilitative drug court. The FBI alleges that Moreland asked someone who worked at the foundation to bring him about $6,000 in cash, which seemed to come from patients paying for treatment.
The complaint implies that the cash from the foundation was the same money he used to bribe the woman with whom he was having sex.
FBI special agent Mark Shafer points to the conversation the foundation employee remembers having with Moreland. After bringing Moreland the requested cash, the judge said the money "could ensure 'she told the truth,' or words to that effect," writes Shafer. "Based on the timing and context of that conversation, I believe it is reasonable to conclude that Moreland was referring to the bribe payment."
According to court documents, Moreland asked that foundation employee last February to destroy the receipts of cash payments.
But this year, the unnamed employee agreed to cooperate with federal agents and secretly record her conversations with Moreland, which captured him referencing the destroyed records and offering false cover stories.
In one recorded conversation, she told him she had been summoned to testify in front of a grand jury and asked what she should say if they noticed "the glaring hole in the receipt book." According to the complaint, Moreland responded, "If it's gone, it's gone. Ain't the only thing to have gone missing down there. I mean, we don't deal with the most honest people in the world to begin with."
Later, according to the FBI, he said, "I don't even know about money. And you can tell 'em that, if you don't mind. That I never had anything to do with any money, because I didn't."
Moreland's defense attorney did not respond Thursday afternoon to WPLN's request for comment.