A former Boston Police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with an ongoing investigation into overtime fraud at the Boston Police Department’s evidence warehouse.
Joseph Nee, 48, of Randolph, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Sept. 24. Nee was charged on June 4.
From at least January 2015 through August 2017, Nee submitted false and fraudulent overtime slips for overtime hours that he did not work for two overtime shifts at the evidence warehouse, according to acting U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Mendell.
The first, called “purge” overtime, was a 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. weekday shift intended to dispose of old, unneeded evidence. The second shift, called “kiosk” overtime, involved driving to each police district in Boston one Saturday a month to collect old prescription drugs to be burned.
For the “purge” shift, Nee claimed to have worked from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., but he routinely left at 6 p.m., or earlier. For the “kiosk” shift, Nee submitted overtime slips claiming to have worked eight-and-one-half hours, when in fact he and, allegedly, other members of the unit only worked three-to-four hours of those shifts.
As a result, between January 2015 and August 2017, Nee personally collected approximately $12,636 for overtime hours he did not work, according to Mendell's office.
In September 2020, nine Boston Police officers were arrested and charged for their roles in an overtime fraud scheme that is alleged to have collectively embezzled over $250,000 between May 2016 and February 2019.
As part of the ongoing investigation, Nee and three additional officers have been charged: former Captain Richard Evans and former Sergeants George Finch and William Baxter. On April 8, Evans pleaded not guilty. Finch pleaded guilty on June 1, and Baxter is scheduled to do the same on June 25.
From 2015 through 2019, the department received annual benefits from the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Justice in excess of $10,000, which were funded pursuant to numerous federal grants.
The charge of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss.
The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.