9 Boston police officers are charged with overtime fraud

Northeast

BOSTON (AP) — Nine current and former Boston police officers who worked in the department’s evidence warehouse were arrested Wednesday and charged with collecting a total of more than $200,000 in overtime pay they were not entitled to, federal prosecutors said.

The officers, six of them retired and three active, are each charged with conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.

They were making initial appearances in federal court via video Wednesday.

“Beyond the theft of funds, this kind of official misconduct also erodes trust in public institutions, at a time when that trust is most needed,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a written statement.

The federal investigation was conducted with the cooperation of Boston Police Commissioner William Gross.

“The allegations and behavior alleged in today’s indictments is very troubling and in no way reflect the attitudes of the hard-working employees of the Boston Police Department,” Gross said.

The active officers have been suspended without pay, he said.

“I am outraged and, quite frankly, outright disgusted at the utter breach of trust by these nine individuals at the Boston Police Department,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement.

While working in the evidence warehouse — where they were responsible for, among other things, storing, cataloging and retrieving evidence — the defendants routinely left overtime shifts two or more hours early and then submitted fraudulent overtime slips claiming to have worked the entire shift, prosecutors said.

One of the active officers facing charges is Lt. Timothy Torigian, 54, of Walpole, commander of the evidence control unit.

“We fully expect Tim will be exonerated in this matter and look forward to pursuing a speedy trial in that pursuit,” his attorney, Robert Goldstein, told The Boston Globe.

The scheme dated to May 2016, authorities said.

The officers are subject to federal charges because the Boston Police Department received federal grants, prosecutors said.

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