Former New Bedford Police Union Treasurer Agrees to Plead Guilty to Stealing Union Funds
Defendant served as Union Treasurer for nearly a decade
BOSTON – A former New Bedford Police Department (NBPD) officer and NBPD Union Treasurer has agreed to plead guilty to stealing nearly $50,000 in union funds.
Joshua Fernandes, 42, of New Bedford, was charged with one count of wire fraud. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.
According to the charging documents, Fernandes abused the trust placed in him by fellow union members by using nearly $50,000 in union funds to pay for personal expenses including vacations, family outings, and a monthly wireless family phone plan, among other things. Fernandes carried out his scheme by reimbursing his personal credit card accounts with union funds and by using the union’s credit cards to pay directly for non-union expenses.
The charging statute provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Jonathan Russo, District Director of U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris, Deputy Chief of Mendell’s Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit, is prosecuting the case.