MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Grand theft, fraud and official misconduct charges have been dropped against a Golden Beach police Sgt. Lyndean Peters who was accused of fraudulently reporting or under-reporting off-duty work details.
The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Public Corruption Unit which investigated Peters, and two other officers accused of misconduct, found that “the State is no longer able to prove criminal charges against Lyndean Peters beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt,” according to the close out memo issued by the agency.
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.
In January, 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 after he was accused of working off-duty overtime detail while on duty. It cost the city $2,377.62, according to the FDLE.
Peters’ attorney said he used his “flex time” to pursue other work.
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. With the announcement that the charges were dropped, Peters said after three years he’s glad he’s finally been vindicated but it has cost him the respect of some friends and family members.
The two other Golden Beach officers charged in the investigation were Yovany Diaz and Omar Paez.
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 total loss for the Town of Golden Beach involving Diaz was $2,032 and the loss relating to Paez was $1,449.99.
There are less than 20 sworn police officers on the force in the town of Golden Beach.