A retired Boston police officer pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to taking in more than $20,000 for fraudulent overtime hours, the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office said.
James Carnes, 57, of Canton, 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, authorities said. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 10.
Carnes was among nine current and former Boston police officers arrested and charged last September with running an overtime scam out of the police department’s evidence warehouse. Authorities say the officers collected more than $200,000 in bogus overtime pay between 2016 and 2019.
Last month, retired Capt. Richard Evans who oversaw the warehouse in Hyde Park, became the tenth current or former officer arrested He allegedly was paid over $12,395 in fraudulent overtime, officials said.
In court, Carnes admitted to filing false and fraudulent overtime slips for hours that he did not work for two overtime shifts at the evidence warehouse in Hyde Park.
The first shift, which authorities said is known as “purge” overtime, was on a weekday from 4 to 8 p.m. intended to dispose of old, unneeded evidence. The second shift, known as “kiosk” overtime, involved driving to each police district station in the city one Saturday each month to collect old prescription drugs that are then taken to an incinerator in Saugus to be destroyed.
Carnes admitted that while working the “purge shift,” he routinely left two hours early at 6 p.m. while claiming to have worked the entire shift. For the kiosk shift, Carnes said he submitted overtime slips claiming to have worked eight and a half hours when he only worked between three and four hours.
The charge of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, authorities said. Authorities said the police department received annual benefits from the US Department of Transportation and the US Department of Justice in excess of $10,000 between 2016 and 2018.
On the conspiracy charge, Carnes faces up to five years in prison, three years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.