Correction Officer Charged With Stealing More Than $6,000 From Inmate Canteen Accounts
Jan 07, 2020 10:28AM
By Lisa Redmond
Middlesex Jail and House of Correction
WOBURN – A suspended correction officer at the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction in Billerica pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $6,000 from inmates’ canteen accounts by transferring the money onto 101 debit cards which he used for his personal spending, according to a joint statement by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian.
Ronald Moloney, 50, of Peabody was arraigned on charges of larceny over $1,200 and filing a false report by a public employee on Monday in Middlesex Superior Court. Superior Court Justice Rosemary Connolly released Moloney on his own recognizance with the condition that he stay away from certain potential witnesses, including Middlesex Sheriff’s Office employees.
The MSO has suspended Moloney without pay pending the resolution of this case. Moloney is scheduled for a pretrial hearing on January 17, 2020.
The alleged fraud was initially discovered by the MSO‘s Internal Investigations Unit and subsequently referred to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office for investigation.
Last June, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office received a request from an inmate, who had transferred from the Middlesex Jail and House of Correction to another correctional facility, for the transfer of his canteen money.
Upon review of the account, the Sheriff’s Office discovered that Moloney had allegedly refunded the money through the issuance of a debit card in May and that the money had already been spent. However, the inmate requesting the transfer could not have received a debit card or spent the money because he was incarcerated at the time of the transactions.
Moloney then wrote a report claiming he mistakenly credited the money to a debit card for another inmate. The subsequent investigation into this matter revealed that this report was false and that the other inmate had never received the funds.
The DA’s Office and the sheriff’s office assigned investigators to work in collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police, to conduct a subsequent investigation of all debit cards issued by the defendant in 2019.
This investigation identified 93 debit cards issued by Moloney and eight debit cards processed by another staff person and handled by Moloney, which were then fraudulently used for purchases or cash withdrawals between March and June 2019.
Using these 101 cards, the defendant allegedly stole approximately $6,229.62 through fraudulently issued debit cards. The investigation further revealed that the defendant targeted dormant accounts of released inmates to attempt to avoid detection.
The prosecutor assigned to these cases is Assistant District Attorney Mary F. P. O’Neill.