A former Boston police captain has been arrested on charges that he collected more than $12,000 in an overtime pay fraud scheme at the department’s evidence warehouse, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Richard Evans, 62, of Hanover, faces charges including conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in federal court in Boston later Tuesday. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.
“The public counts on police supervisors to lead by example and serve as models of honor, integrity and professionalism,” Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell said in a statement. “When they break the law for personal financial gain with the officers they supervise, they not only violate the trust of the public, but they dishonor their fellow officers."
"It is deeply troubling when officers who have sworn to uphold the law violate their oath and use their badge as a license to commit a crime," added Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division.
"The allegations contained in this indictment by a senior law enforcement officer are not reflective of the conscientious hard-working members of the Boston Police Department," Superintendent in Chief Gregory Long said in a statement. "No police officer is above the law, today's indictment sends a strong message that this conduct will not be tolerated or ignored."
According to the indictment, Evans oversaw the Boston Police Department's Evidence Control Unit, which was responsible for storing, cataloging and retrieving evidence at the warehouse. Evidence Control Unit officers were eligible to earn overtime pay of 1.5 times their regular hourly pay rate for overtime assignments.
Authorities said Evans conspired with officers he supervised to collect overtime pay they didn’t deserve. Evans submitted false overtime slips for hours he didn’t work and signed off on dozens of bogus slips filed by his subordinates, prosecutors say.
Beginning in at least March 2015, Evans and other officers are alleged to have routinely left overtime shifts two or more hours early while submitting false and fraudulent overtime slips claiming to have worked the entire shift.
The indictment alleges that the fraud occurred during one overtime shift, called “purge” overtime, that was focused on reducing the inventory of the evidence warehouse. The shift was supposed to be performed from 4 to 8 p.m. on weekdays. On days which Evans claimed to have worked until 8 p.m., the warehouse was closed, locked and alarmed well before 8 p.m., and often by 6 p.m. or earlier. Despite this, it is alleged that Evans routinely submitted false and fraudulent overtime slips claiming to have worked from 4 to 8 p.m. Evans also endorsed the fraudulent overtime slips of his subordinates.
From March 2015 to February 2019, Evans and his co-conspirators allegedly collected tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulent overtime. Specifically, Evans allegedly received over $12,395 for overtime hours he did not work and endorsed dozens of fraudulent overtime slips submitted by subordinates.
Mayor Kim Janey called allegations of fraud against a former Boston police captain "disturbing," and "unacceptable," in a Tuesday press briefing.
Janey committed to uncovering and rooting out misbehavior among officers amid the overtime pay fraud scandal within the department’s evidence warehouse.
"I believe people must have faith and trust in public servants. This is especially true for law enforcement," Janey said. "The allegations of fraud, announced today against retired police captain Richard Evans are disturbing.
"Captain Evans oversaw the critically important evidence control unit, making these charges even more troubling, any fraud is unacceptable," she added. "It breaks public trust. It breaks public trust. It dishonors the thousands of officers who serve our communities every day with honesty, integrity and bravery."
The arrest stems from an ongoing federal investigation into overtime abuse at the Boston Police Department’s evidence warehouse. In September, authorities said nine current and former officers who worked there were charged with collecting a total of more than $200,000 in overtime pay they were not entitled to. Several former Massachusetts State Police officers have also been charged in federal court with overtime pay abuse.
Lt. Timothy Torigian, 54, of Walpole; retired Sgt. Gerard O’Brien, 62, of Braintree; retired Sgt. Robert Twitchell, 58, of Norton; retired Officer Henry Doherty, 61, of Dorchester; retired Officer Diana Lopez, 58, of Milton; retired Officer James Carnes, 57, of Canton; Officer Michael Murphy, 60, of Hyde Park; retired Officer Ronald Nelson, 60, of Jamaica Plain; and Officer Kendra Conway, 49, of Boston, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds.
Prosecutors allege that the nine officers collectively embezzled over $200,000 in overtime pay between May of 2016 and February of 2019. Torigian alone received more than $43,000 for overtime hours he never worked. Twitchell, O'Brien and Doherty each received over $25,000; Carnes and Lopez over $20,000; and Murphy, Nelson and Conway over $15,000 for hours they didn't work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.