WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A jury has been seated for a Wichita Falls police officer, who has been awaiting trial since 2016, on theft and money laundering charges, but now will only face the theft charge.
Ralph Piper was charged by sealed indictments after a Texas Ranger investigation with theft over $20,000 and under $100,000 and money laundering, $150,000 to $300,000. The money laundering charge was dismissed Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, before testimony is to begin.
Also, Piper filed to change his request for punishment by jury to punishment by the judge if convicted.
Piper was assigned as a Wichita Falls motorcycle officer until placed on administrative leave and according to previous stories.
The chief of police will have 30 days after final determination of this case to decide on piper’s status with the department. The Wichita Falls Human Resources Department listed piper’s status as an active employee at the time of writing. Previous status checks showed him to be an active employee on unpaid administrative leave.
According to the indictment on the money laundering charge that is dismissed, Piper was allegedly involved in a kickback scheme involving theft and/or commercial bribery, beginning in March 2014.
The theft charge alleges he took money totaling more than $20,000 from an owner of a business. The victim is listed as AT&T.
The charges were initially filed by a Texas Ranger and a special prosecutor was appointed to the case. Witnesses subpoenaed include the Texas Ranger and custodians of records for several banks and AT&T.
The trial has been set in the past but postponed.