Plea deal: Ex-Stoneham cop with eviction history will admit to wire fraud

The detective sergeant’s 20-year history of evictions and unpaid judgments was uncovered in an NBC10 Boston investigation in February. He was later arrested by the FBI and indicted for wire fraud

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A former Stoneham police detective will plead guilty to federal wire fraud charges, according to a copy of a plea agreement obtained by NBC10 Boston.

Court filings show the agreement between federal prosecutors and Robert Kennedy was reached earlier this month. The anticipated plea is scheduled for September 20 at the federal courthouse in Boston. See the document below.



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In February, an NBC10 investigation detailed how court records show the detective sergeant had a history of evictions and unpaid judgments stretching back two decades, including a property owned by an elderly couple in Woburn.

In recent years, we reported how housing court records show he and his girlfriend racked up more than $50,000 in unpaid rent while being evicted from apartment complexes in Stoneham and Reading.

During that three-year period, salary records we obtained revealed Kennedy had earned more than $500,000 as a police officer.

As we first reported, federal court documents accused Kennedy of applying for rental assistance to delay eviction proceedings, even allegedly obtaining $10,000 of taxpayer assistance meant for people who make a fraction of his income.

After seeing our investigation, a couple contacted us and said Kennedy and his girlfriend had not paid a dime since moving into their property in late 2022. 

During a subsequent interview, Aarti and Peter Goldstein described how the police officer’s security deposit and first month’s rent checks both bounced. They also showed us how Kennedy had allegedly used a family member’s Social Security number to obtain a clean credit report.

The Goldsteins would later provide that same testimony to a federal grand jury, according to the criminal indictment for wire fraud.

Even after the FBI arrest and federal indictment, Kennedy did not pay rent to the Goldsteins. We were there in June when the couple was finally able to evict him from the property.

“This has been a seven-month odyssey,” Peter Goldstein told us that day. “It’s that difficult and he fought us at every turn. He knew the system. He knew which hearings to go to and which not to. He knew to file his appeals at the last minute. He was very good. He was a maestro at what he did.”

The plea agreement calls for more than $14,000 in restitution to account for the Goldsteins' losses in rental income.

In exchange for the guilty plea to two wire fraud counts, federal prosecutors stipulated they would not pursue identity theft charges related to Kennedy’s alleged use of a family member’s Social Security number to obtain a clean credit report during the rental application process.

Kennedy drove away from our questions when we approached him outside the Stoneham Police Department last February. He called in sick for a couple of weeks before announcing his retirement.

Kennedy also did not provide any answers when we caught up to him outside the federal courthouse following his FBI arrest in late March.

“While there is a publicly filed plea agreement in this case, this is neither the place nor the time, at the current stage of the proceedings, for me to have any comment,” said Kennedy’s defense attorney, Brad Bailey.

It will be up to the federal judge to decide if the former police officer should spend time in prison. According to sentencing guidelines, the wire fraud conviction and Kennedy’s lack of criminal history would call for time behind bars of up to six months.

According to the Stoneham Retirement Board, Kennedy’s pension was approved in late June. He is receiving a gross annual benefit of $60,793 or a little more than $5,000 per month.

Massachusetts law states that a public employee’s pension can only be stripped if there’s a direct connection between the conviction and the person’s job.

Michael Sacco, an attorney representing the Stoneham Retirement Board, said that decision will be made at a later date.

“Once Mr. Kennedy’s conviction is final upon sentencing, the Stoneham Retirement Board will begin the process of reviewing all the available underlying documents to determine whether there is any factual link between his criminal conviction and his position as a Stoneham police officer,” Sacco wrote.

Ryan Kath can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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