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Former South Tucson Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Theft an Tax Evasion

TUCSON, Ariz. (LAWFUEL) – Former South Tucson Police Lieutenant Richard R. Garcia, 47, of Tucson, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison by U.S. District Judge David C. Bury. Garcia pleaded guilty on January 26, 2009, to charges in an information of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, as well as to subscribing and filing false income tax returns. As a condition of his guilty plea, Garcia was ordered to pay $254,318 restitution to the City of South Tucson and $200,244 restitution to the Pima County Anti-Racketeering Fund. He was also ordered to file amended tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

Garcia admitted that between February 24, 2004 and May 21, 2008, he stole $560,177 in property or funds intended for the City of South Tucson and the Pima County Anti-Racketeering Fund. During the course of the thefts, he kept $454,963 from the total amount taken. In addition to the thefts, he failed to file tax returns on the money taken during tax years 2004 through 2007.

On May 22, 2008, federal agents executed search warrants on Garcia’s office, home and vehicle. Garcia admitted to agents that he stole cash and cashed checks made payable to the City of South Tucson Police Department to fund his gambling habit. After the search warrants, $10,795 remained in one bank account Garcia used and was returned to the City of South Tucson. Agents also discovered that Garcia had secretly paid back over $94,000 into the city’s general fund throughout the course of the thefts.

The investigation in this case was conducted by Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Pima County Attorney’s Office and South Tucson Police Department. The prosecution was handled by Mary Sue Feldmeier, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson, and Danny N. Roetzel, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division.

CASE NUMBER: CR-09-0098-TUC-DCB

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-128(Garcia)

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