Crime

Meriwether County grand jury indicts ex-Georgia Senate candidate Brian Roslund

A Meriwether County grand jury has indicted former Georgia Senate District 29 candidate Brian Roslund for racketeering and 27 counts of theft, alleging he stole funds from a charity benefiting Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Little White House” in Warm Springs and deceived campaign vendors by writing bad checks.

Roslund, who last year lost a challenge to incumbent state Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus, was a volunteer with the Friends of Roosevelt’s Little White House from Jan. 1, 2009 until Dec. 11, 2014, and served as the group’s president starting July 14, 2010, according to the indictment.

The accusation says he qualified for the senate race on March 12, 2014, and through his campaign group “Friends of Brian Roslund” engaged in a scheme involving “a pattern of theft, deception, and false documents” that included “false, fictitious, and fraudulent campaign contribution disclosure reports” in which he inflated donations and falsified donors’ names.

He similarly faked his campaign expenditures and the names of vendors, says the indictment, which further alleges:

Roslund falsely claimed his campaign had received $52,000 in donations.

He wrote about $7,600 in bad checks from accounts that either were closed or had insufficient funds.

He used Little White House funds to rent a home in Senate District 29.

He stole more than $11,000 from the Friends of Roosevelt’s Little White House by writing 27 bank counter checks on the charity’s account. The document says Roslund obtained that money with checks made out to “cash.”

A list of the bad checks he allegedly wrote to campaign vendors shows five totaling $8,318 for consulting services from Aug. 1 to Oct. 20, 2014; five totaling $2,847 for campaign signs from Sept. 9 through Oct. 29, 2014; and one for $468 for “Facebook services” on Oct. 23 of last year.

The list includes three checks totaling $3,000 for rent in October, November and December.

The amounts Roslund’s accused of taking from the Friends of the Little White House between July 18 and Oct. 14, 2014, range from $1,200 on Sept. 18 to $72.19 on Oct. 14.

McKoon easily won the Nov. 4 election with 30,394 votes to Roslund’s 15,688, according to Ballotpedia.org.

When the Ledger-Enquirer interviewed Roslund during last year’s campaign, he said he was a native of Pennsylvania and president of the Susquehanna Valley Railroad Co. He said he moved to Georgia in 2007 and lived in Pine Mountain. He was 30 years old.

In an August 2011 report on state budget cuts that reduced the number of tour guides at the Little White House, Roslund told the newspaper he then was living in Tifton, Ga., and driving to Warm Springs once a week to volunteer.

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