DETROIT (WXYZ) - A Detroit Police officer first exposed by the 7 Action News Investigators could be headed off for a stint in federal prison. She pled guilty in federal court today in a payroll fraud scheme.
7 Action News Investigator Scott Lewis first broke the story a year-and-a-half ago.
Officer Kim Mosby-Colbert was the timekeeper at Detroit's Southwest District and police investigators discovered she was doing a little creative bookkeeping on her own time sheet. At the time police suspected she had stolen tens of thousands of dollars by padding her her work hours.
When 7 Action News first confronted Mosby-Colbert in July of 2011, she flatly denied stealing any department funds. But in Federal District Court Monday, she was singing a different tune. Mosby-Colbert pleaded guilty to defrauding the Detroit Police Department out of $30,000, getting paid for work she never did.
Law enforcement sources told 7 Action news that Colbert was turning in an hour or two of overtime each pay period, but after it was approved by the boss, she would alter it to increase the overtime. For instance, sources told us, she would change an hour of overtime, already approved, to ten hours or change two hours to twelve.
Eventually the scheme was discovered when a commander did an audit. He wondered how a cop with an eight-to-four job working inside the station was racking up so much overtime. Internal affairs launched an investigation, and eventually they turned the case over to the FBI because there were federal funds involved.
Mosbey-Colbert resigned after she was charged.
The conviction carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. Under terms of the plea agreement, Mosby-Colbert could be ordered to pay nearly $30,00 in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a written statement that she hopes other public servants will take notice of today's guilty plea.
"We hope that prosecutions like this one will let public servants know that they will be held accountable for their conduct, and will deter them from stealing public funds which they are not entitled," McQuade said.
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