Jersey City Police Officer Gicella Sanchez is the 12th member of the department to plead guilty to off-duty detail fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Gicella Sanchez, 36, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John M. Vazquez to an information charging her with one count of conspiracy to defraud a local government receiving federal funds, Carpenito said in a statement.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Sanchez for her role in the corruption scheme back in July.
The off-duty assignments were made by a Jersey City Police Department-designated coordinator for the district in which the assignment was to be carried out.
Officers receiving these off-duty assignments were required to complete and provide to the coordinator a voucher that indicated, among other things, the hours worked on particular off-duty assignments.
From November 2014 through June 2016, Sanchez conspired with another Jersey City police officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work and sign vouchers, according to court documents.
That officer – with Sanchez’s knowledge and consent – submitted phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that Sanchez had completed certain off-duty assignments that she never actually performed.
In other instances, Sanchez showed up to off-duty job sites, but left before her shift ended. As a result, Sanchez accepted thousands of dollars for off-duty work that she never performed.
Sanchez faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
As part of her plea agreement, Sanchez must forfeit $9,095 in criminal proceeds she received from her role in the scheme and pay restitution of $2,490. Her sentencing is scheduled for February 2nd, 2021.