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Press Release

Former Stoneham Police Officer Arrested for Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant allegedly defrauded three of his landlords

BOSTON – A former detective sergeant for the Stoneham Police Department has been arrested and charged for allegedly providing false information in rental applications to fraudulently obtain three separate apartment leases for which he intentionally withheld rent payments.

Robert Kennedy, 53, of Stoneham, was charged with one count of wire fraud. Kennedy will appear in federal court in Boston at 10:30 AM today. 

According to the charging document, Kennedy defrauded his last three landlords by providing materially false and misleading information in his rental applications to obtain the respective apartment leases. After moving in, it is alleged that Kennedy would intentionally withhold rent payments, despite making $141,000 - $187,000 a year from the Stoneham Police Department. As a result, Kennedy lived in the apartments rent-free by allegedly taking advantage of the slow eviction process.  

Specifically, it is alleged that Kennedy defrauded his most recent landlord by submitting materially false and fraudulent information during the rental application process. The landlord required Kennedy to submit to a tenant screening service, which included a credit check and eviction history check. Instead of providing his own date of birth and social security number to the tenant screening service – which would likely have shown Kennedy’s history of collections, delinquent payments, defaults and evictions – Kennedy allegedly provided the date of birth and social security number of a relative who shared his first and last name. The landlord relied on the information from the fraudulently obtained tenant screening report to approve Kennedy’s rental application and give Kennedy a lease for the apartment. It is further alleged that Kennedy immediately and intentionally violated the terms of the lease by giving the landlord bad checks for his rent and security deposit and failing to make subsequent rent payments. Kennedy lived in the apartment for approximately four months without making rent payments and currently owes the landlord approximately $14,000 in overdue rent.  

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Stoneham Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elysa Q. Wan of Rollins’ Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao, Chief of Rollins’ Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit, are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated March 31, 2023

Financial Fraud