A state grand jury indicted a Chandler officer Tuesday on 10 felony counts, accusing him of using his position with the police department to obtain records illegally for two men with ties to a Scottsdale nonprofit, now the focus of state and federal investigations.
The charges against Bradley T. Forward, 30, of Gilbert, include hindering prosecution, stealing public records and tampering with computers to access databases restricted to law enforcement use only.
Prosecutors argue that between January 2005 and November 2006, Forward conducted illegal records checks for Edward Purvis and Gregg Wolfe, both of Chandler. Specifically, the state alleges Forward misused law enforcement databases to search for vehicle registration information of Arizona Corporation Commission attorney Rachel Strachan and the driver’s license and warrant information for Mitchell Behm, who filed a complaint with the commission regarding Purvis and Wolfe.
“These unauthorized uses of confidential public safety information are serious crimes,” Attorney General Terry Goddard said. “The abuse of a position of public trust cannot be tolerated.”
The two Chandler men and their wives, Maureen Purvis and Allison Wolfe, are subjects of state and federal investigations into their involvement with Nakami Chi Group Ministries International, a Scottsdale organization that promises to fund Christian charities while paying investors 24 percent in annual returns.
Also in the indictment, Forward is accused of obtaining the commission’s confidential investigative materials, which he passed on to Purvis and Wolfe. Prosecutors allege, too, that Forward lied to the commission when he said police were investigating Purvis and Wolfe.
Nakami ministries also is the target of an ACC inquiry into potential state securities violations and fraud. And the FBI also is trying to determine whether the nonprofit is running a pyramid scheme.
The commission began proceedings in October against Purvis and Wolfe, their wives, as well as against Scottsdale resident James Keaton Jr., his wife, Jennifer, and a Nevada company he headed, ACI Holdings.
They all were ordered to cease and desist any violations of the securities act, pay restitution and fines of up to $5,000 per violation.
Chandler police said they hadn’t yet read the indictment. But spokesman Sgt. Rick Griner said the department will start an internal investigation after the criminal investigation is complete.
Forward is being placed on administrative leave. Arraignment is scheduled Dec. 26. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison and would lose his certification.