Former sheriff’s deputy found dead before fraud sentencing

July 9, 2021 GMT

FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — A former Dodge County sheriff’s deputy was found dead in his home a day before he was to be sentenced for fraud scheme that cost victims nearly $11 million.

Craig Harbaugh, 50, was found dead Thursday in his Fremont apartment, Fremont Chief Deputy County Attorney Sara Sopinski said. No one else was in the apartment.

She said a preliminary investigation did not indicate suicide or foul play and an autopsy would determine the cause of death. Sopinski declined to discuss how Harbaugh died, The Omaha World-Herald reported.

Harbaugh pleaded guilty in February to one court of wire fraud. As part of the plea, 12 other charges were dropped. He was scheduled to be sentenced Friday.


Prosecutors said Harbaugh ran a weapons business, Tactical Solutions Gear, in Fremont from 2014 to 2019. He used fake purchase orders and contracts to persuade people to invest in his business and to get a bank loan.

He falsely claimed to have orders from agencies such as Illinois State Police, the Kansas wildlife department, Nebraska State Patrol; the Kansas City Police Department, other law enforcement agencies, and a defense contractor.

Harbaugh was working as a sheriff’s deputy the entire time he ran the fraud, prosecutors said.