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Press Release

Former Boston Police Sergeant Sentenced for Overtime Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A former Boston Police Sergeant was sentenced on June 18, 2024 for his involvement in a long running overtime fraud scheme at the Boston Police Department’s (BPD) evidence warehouse.

William Baxter, 63, of Hyde Park, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris to three years of supervised release, with seven months to be served in home detention. Baxter was also ordered to pay a fine of $20,000 and restitution of $9,223. In June 2021, Baxter 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. 

From March 2015 through June 2016, Baxter submitted false and fraudulent overtime slips for overtime hours that he did not work for two overtime shifts at the evidence warehouse. The first, called “purge” overtime, was a 4 – 8 p.m. weekday shift intended to dispose of old, unneeded evidence. The second shift, called “kiosk” overtime, involved driving to each police district in Boston one Saturday a month to collect old prescription drugs to be burned.

For the “purge” shift, Baxter claimed to have worked from 4 – 8 p.m., but he routinely left at 6 p.m., and sometimes earlier. Additionally, Baxter knowingly endorsed the fraudulent overtime slips of his subordinates who, allegedly, also left early from this shift. For the “kiosk” shift, Baxter and, allegedly, others routinely submitted overtime slips claiming to have worked eight-and-one-half hours, when in fact he and, allegedly, other members of the unit, only worked three-to-four hours of those shifts.

Between March 2015 and June 2016, Baxter personally collected approximately $9,223 for overtime hours he did not work. 

Baxter was one of 15 police officers charged in connection with committing overtime fraud at the Boston Police Department’s evidence warehouse, 10 of whom were convicted either by guilty plea or jury verdict. Of the remaining officers charged, four were acquitted in April 2023 and one officer passed away while charges were pending. 

From 2015 through 2019, BPD received annual benefits from the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Justice in excess of $10,000, which were funded pursuant to numerous federal grants.  

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Russell W. Cunningham, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Washington Field Office; and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark Grady and Kunal Pasricha of the Criminal Division prosecuted the case. 

Updated June 20, 2024

Public Corruption