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Overtime fraud to child rape: 4 suspended Mass. cops face criminal charges

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The four Massachusetts police officers suspended this week by the state’s law enforcement licensing agency are either facing or have been convicted of serious criminal charges, including bank fraud, child rape and a high-profile overtime scandal at the Boston Police Department.

It was the second batch of law enforcement agents suspended by the relatively new Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission this year. The agency announced 15 suspensions last month.

State law requires officers to be suspended if they’re charged, arrested or indicted for a felony.

The four officers suspended Wednesday are Kendra Conway and Michael Murphy of the Boston Police Department, Iancy Gonzalez of the Salem Police Department, and Carlos Vieira of the Lawrence Police Department.

Conway and Murphy were involved in a 15-person overtime scheme that netted more than $300,000 for current or former Boston Police Department officers, according to prosecutors with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

Both worked in the department’s evidence control unit, where they stored, cataloged and retrieved evidence at a warehouse, court documents said.

The officers are accused of submitting “false and fraudulent overtime slips in which they claimed to have worked a full ‘purge’ or ‘kiosk’ overtime shift when in fact they did not,” court documents said. Purge and kiosk shifts refer to types of overtime that involve controlling and reducing warehouse inventory and picking up materials like unused prescription drugs from “kiosks” in each police district.

From May 2016 to February 2019, Murphy is accused of receiving over $16,000 for overtime hours he did not work. During the same time period, Conway is accused of taking in over $16,400 for overtime hours she did not work, court documents said.

“The object of the conspiracy was for the defendants to embezzle funds from BPD, an agency that received federal funding,” court documents said. “The purpose of the conspiracy was for the defendants to enrich themselves personally by obtaining overtime hours that they did not work.”

Murphy pleaded guilty in June 2021 to one count each of conspiracy to commit theft concerning programs receiving federal funds and embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds.

An attorney for Conway did not immediately return a request for comment.

Gonzalez, of the Salem Police Department, resigned from the force in March 2022 after she was charged in a fraudulent money order scheme, the Salem News reported in April 2022. She pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Prosecutors said Gonzales and Willy Orlando Santana used her bank account to deposit a series of fake money orders, according to a police report provided by the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. The pair fraudulently withdrew funds totaling $6,400 from Eastern Bank, according to the report.

“Based on the investigation it is evident that Gonzalez and Santana] entered into a fraudulent scheme to steal funds from Eastern Bank,” the police report said.

A spokesperson for the Essex District Attorney’s Office said the case against Gonzalez remains open. A hearing was held Dec. 29. Gonzalez’s next court date is March 23, and she is represented by Attorney Scott Masse of Salem.

Masse did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.

Vieira, of the Lawrence Police Department, was sentenced in November 2022 to 10 to 12 years in state prison after he was convicted last year of raping a 13-year-old boy in 2018.

A jury found him guilty in October 2022 of two counts each of aggravated rape of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, the Essex District Attorney’s Office said.

Vieira was ordered to serve five years of probation upon release and barred from contacting or approaching the victim and his family, according to prosecutors. He must also complete sex offender evaluation and treatment, register as a sex offender and have no unsupervised contact with children under 16, the Essex District Attorney’s Office said.

In a statement, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodget said Vieira’s conduct was an “affront to the community he swore to protect.”

“It’s important to acknowledge that many people were impacted by this defendant’s criminal behavior,” Blodget said. “The victim and his entire family will never be the same. I hope that they can now find some healing and peace.”

Lawrence Police Chief Roy Vasque previously called the case “extremely troubling.”

“It is our hope that this verdict will give the victim and his family a sense of closure as they continue with the healing process,” Vasque said in a statement.

The suspension orders for all the officers will remain in effect until the training commission makes a decision on final revocation, commission Executive Director Enrique Zuniga said in a Wednesday statement.

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