A Boston Police officer pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to taking more than $16,000 in fraudulent overtime while working in the police department’s evidence warehouse, the acting US Attorney for Massachusetts said in a statement.
Michael Murphy, 61, of Hyde Park, 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, the US Attorney’s office said. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.
Murphy is the latest former or current Boston police official to plead guilty as the result of an investigation into overtime fraud involving workers in the evidence warehouse.
Murphy and eight other Boston Police officers were arrested in September 2020 in connection to the overtime fraud scheme where authorities say they collectively embezzled more than $250,000 between May 2016 and February 2019.
Authorities say Murphy submitted fraudulent overtime slips for hours he did not work for two shifts at the evidence warehouse between September 2016 and February 2019.
One shift is called “purge” overtime, a weekday shift 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. where the officer disposes old and 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.
Authorities say Murphy claimed to have worked the full “purge” shift but routinely left two hours early at 6 p.m., or earlier. For the “kiosk” shifts, Murphy submitted overtime slips claiming he worked 8.5 hours while only working for three to four hours, the US Attorney’s office said.
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, which were funded through federal grants.
On the conspiracy charge, Murphy faces up to five years in prison, three years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.