March 24, 2005 A St. Thomas police officer and a payroll clerk for the V.I. Police Department have been charged in connection with a financial scheme that paid the officer money he was not entitled to. The charges are laid out in a criminal complaint filed March 18 in Virgin Islands Superior Court by the Justice Department.
The information builds a case against Police Officer Charlesworth Matthew and the clerk, Chandra Holder. The V.I. Inspector General investigated the case, which alleged that between October 2003 and May 2004, Holder falsified VIPD payroll records which resulted in overpayment of overtime pay to Matthew. The payroll discrepancies were discovered in the departments payroll division last May; the investigation was requested by James McCall, assistant Police commissioner.
According to court documents, an internal police investigation revealed that Holder increased Matthews overtime payment across 14 pay periods by more than $7,100. Holder told investigators in a June 2004 interview that she and Matthew had been intimate friends and without his knowing, she falsified the records to help him out of a substantial child support debt, the documents state. Holder denied taking any of the money for herself. Holder was formally charged with embezzlement or falsification of public accounts; forgery; grand larceny; fraudulent claims upon the government and conversion of government property.
Matthew was charged with one count each of conversion of government property, buying receiving or possessing stolen property and grand larceny. When he was questioned by agents of the Inspector Generals Office, Matthew confirmed that he was paid for more overtime than he worked, that he told Holder not to tell him about the payroll padding scheme and that he never gave Holder advice on how to accomplish the scheme.
Matthew said in court documents that he used the additional income to pay personal household bills, give some money to his mother, and that he gave Holder money from time to time to have her hair and nails done. Matthew also acknowledged being delinquent in a child support obligation and that he had fallen in arrears in child support during his transition from military service to employment with the police department.
Elton Lewis, Police commissioner, said Thursday afternoon he has signed a letter suspending the two employees without pay until the matter is adjudicated.
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