Last week federal authorities indicted an East Boston native and former longtime District A-7 civilian employee with overtime fraud while she was working at District A-1 between 2014 and 2018.
Marilyn Golisano, 68, who once worked at District A-7 in her hometown for years before becoming a clerk for the Boston Police’s detectives unit, was indicted on one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds, six counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, the investigation revealed that Golisano, who handled the overtime paperwork for her unit, submitted dozens of false and fraudulent overtime slips on which she had forged the signatures of at least three different Boston Police supervisors.
During the period of the alleged fraud, Golisano’s overtime compensation from the BPD more than doubled, increasing from just over $15,000 in 2016 to $26,000 in 2017 and to over $33,000 in 2018. This increase occurred despite the fact that Golisano’s duties did not change, her rate of pay did not significantly increase and no significant new overtime hours were approved by her supervisor.
It is alleged that during several overtime shifts that Golisano claimed to be working in downtown Boston, she was actually miles away from Boston according to her cellphone’s geolocation records.
A look at public payroll records for the Boston Police show that in 2013 Golisano had a base pay of $48190.52 and received $1,151.44 in overtime. The following year her base pay increased to $49,563.87 but her overtime shot up to $15,126.47 for 2014.
In the years that followed Golisano’s overtime increased to $14,745.98 in 2016, $25,857.85 in 2017, and a whopping 33,663.66 in 2018.
“Rather than working in service of her community, Ms. Golisano did a disservice to taxpayers and to the reputation of her colleagues in law enforcement,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers serve their communities honorably and with selflessness but, in those instances where public servants cross the line, we will not hesitate to get involved. I applaud the Boston Police Department for their commitment to rooting out corruption, and for their dedication to protecting the City day in and day out.”
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said as a result of an investigation, information was uncovered by the Boston Police Department’s Anti-Corruption Unit regarding alleged payroll/overtime abuse by Golisano. He said the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office became involved with the criminal investigation into the allegations.
“The allegations and behavior alleged in today’s indictment is very troubling and in no way reflect the attitudes of the hard-working employees of the Boston Police Department,” said Gross. “I hold my employees to the highest standards and expect them to obey all laws. News of these indictments send a strong message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated or ignored and can damage the trust that all my members of the department have worked so hard to build with the communities we serve.”
The charge of theft of government funds provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charging statute for aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed, up to one year 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 other statutory factors.
“The public needs to know that they can trust law enforcement officials to be honest and trustworthy. Golisano’s alleged fraud and forgery undermines the public’s trust. The DOJ OIG will continue to hold those accountable who try to steal and cheat,” said Russell W. Cunningham, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Washington Field Office.
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta alleged that for years Golisano forged her supervisor’s signature and submitted scores of fraudulent overtime slips for work she did not do, cheating taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars.
“Her self-serving actions have not only eroded the morale of her hard-working co-workers at the Boston Police Department, but have the potential to undermine the public’s trust in civil servants,” said Bonavolonta. “We would like to thank the Boston Police Department for bringing this matter to our attention, and for their shared commitment in rooting out public corruption.”
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.