Phoenix Police Officer Investigated For Fraud
A sergeant with the Phoenix police is being investigated for allegedly receiving thousands of dollars in pay for work he did not perform. The investigation could lead to criminal charges if proof is obtained that the unidentified officer deliberately falsified time sheets in order to receive payment. An internal investigation is underway to determine if criminal charges are appropriate in this case. The timesheets concerned cover a period from October 2013 to December 2014. A co-worker questioned the Sergeant’s hours, leading to an audit. The audit revealed that the officer was paid for 53 days he did not work. However, a union representative claims that the problem was administrative, not an intent to defraud the department. He states that the officer failed to turn in vacation or leave slips for those days, and has offered to pay the city back for the time he took off. The union points out that a lack of oversight on the part of the department is to blame, not the fraudulent actions of this or any other officer. The Sergeant has a total of 28 years in law enforcement and 26 with the Phoenix police. He has also been an active reservist in the Marines for 12 years and has never been in trouble with the department during his career.
Administrative Error vs. Fraud
Fraud is the crime of attempting to take money or assets from someone by lying. It can occur when an employee of a government agency lies about his or her work in order to get a bigger paycheck. It can also occur when an employee steals money from a protected account and transfers it to his or her own account. However, in order for fraud to occur there must be an element of intent. Employees are sometimes the victims of administrative errors that can appear as if they are attempting to defraud their employers when, in fact, the mistake was someone else’s. It is important for any employee who notices a discrepancy in a paycheck to immediately notify a supervisor in writing in order to protect himself or herself from possible fraud charges.
What Can I Do If I Have Been Charged With Fraud?
Fraud is a serious crime and carries serious penalties. If you are facing fraud allegations, contact the attorneys at the Oswalt Law Group in Phoenix immediately for help protecting your rights and defending yourself against these serious charges.