Ex-Boston cop pleads guilty in overtime fraud scheme

Carnes and eight other Boston Police officers were charged in an overtime scheme that federal prosecutors allege bilked more than $200,000 from shifts at the evidence warehouse between May 2016 and February 2019.

April 26, 2021

A former Boston cop pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to ripping off overtime during shifts at the department's evidence warehouse.

Former officer James Carnes, 57, of Canton, who has retired, entered guilty pleas on single counts of conspiracy to commit theft and embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds in connection with over $20,000 in overtime fraud.

Carnes entered the pleas before U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton who scheduled sentencing for September 10, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston.

Carnes and eight other Boston Police officers were charged in an overtime scheme that federal prosecutors allege bilked more than $200,000 from shifts at the evidence warehouse between May 2016 and February 2019.

In his plea, Carnes admitted submitting false overtime slips for hours he did not work at specialized shifts at the warehouse. One shift was called the 'purge' shift was dedicated to getting rid of old, unneeded evidence, and another called the 'kiosk' shift was to collect pharmaceuticals from district stations to be burned.

As part of his plea, Carnes admitted to routinely leaving the purge shift early, and similarly on the kiosk shift, submitting overtime slips for 8.5 hours while typically working just 3-4 hours, according to prosecutors.

The embezzlement charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail and fine of up to $250,000. The conspiracy charge calls for up to 5 years in jail and also a fine of up to $250,000.

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