GOLDEN BEACH (CBS4) – Two Golden Beach police officers were arrested Tuesday for allegedly working off-duty overtime details while on-duty, also known as a double-dipping scam.
Officers Yovany Diaz, 33, and Omar Paez, 41, are the second and third officers to be charged in the on-going investigation. There are less than 20 sworn police officers on the force in the town of Golden Beach.
Diaz was charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, one count of grand theft and two counts of official misconduct. Paez was charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud and one count of grand theft.
The investigation began in 2009 after FDLE and the Miami-Dade Police Department received allegations that officers worked off-duty overtime details while on-duty, altered city reimbursement invoices, and failed to compensate the Town of Golden Beach for administrative costs relating to the number of off-duty hours that they worked. The total loss for the Town of Golden Beach involving Diaz was $2,032 and the loss relating to Paez was $1,449.99.
Both men were booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail. Bond was set at $10,000 for Paez and $20,000 for Diaz.
Golden Beach honored Paez as the officer of the month in March 2009. Diaz was officer of the month in July 2009.
In January, Golden Beach Sgt. Lyndean Peters was charged with one count of organized scheme to defraud, one count of grand theft, one count of insurance fraud and 11 counts of official misconduct for allegedly working off-duty overtime detail while on duty. It cost the city $2,377.62, according to the FDLE. Peters also faced additional insurance fraud charges after he allegedly made false statements to an insurance company as it related to an accident he had in his police cruiser. Peters, who was a K-9 officer, was suspended without pay and benefits, pending the outcome of the criminal case. He is still awaiting trial.
Golden Beach’s Glenn Singer concerning the arrests:
“Although our town is small, we have always taken great pride in providing our residents with exceptional public safety. That’s what makes this situation so disappointing, not just for the commission and me, but for all of the honest hard working men and women who suit up each day to protect our residents. I want to be clear that the behavior that’s being alleged against these officers will not be tolerated in our town. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement so the truth can come out and if there’s any action we need to take internally to protect the good name of this department, we will do so at the appropriate time.”
The arrests are part of a probe by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami-Dade Police’s public corruption unit and the State Attorney’s Office.