Contact: Captain Michael J. Winquist, Detective Commander Rhode Island State Police Headquarters (401) 444-1008
Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner/Director of the Department of Public Safety, announces that on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, members of the State Police Major Crimes Unit, in coordination with members of the Central Falls Police Department, arrested Joyce Tager, age 53, of 526 Putnam Pike, Smithfield, Rhode Island for Embezzlement.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, in conjunction with the city's Office of Receiver, had contacted the Rhode Island State Police on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, to request an investigation into discrepancies that were noted between the money collected by the city's Municipal Court for fines in comparison to deposits made into the city's bank account. These discrepancies were discovered by the city's Finance Director, who conducted an audit after discovering checks in the city's Office of Accounts Receivable that were never transferred to the Assistant Director of Finance for deposit. The audit conducted by the Finance Director encompassed the time frame of July 1, 2011, to December 31, 2012. This audit revealed that on thirteen occasions a total of $13,620 in cash, as well as an assortment of checks, had been counted at the police department by the Clerk of the Municipal Court prior to being transferred to Ms. Tager, a clerk in charge of the accounts receivable department at City Hall. Detectives interviewed Ms. Tager who admitted to receiving the money from the Municipal Court Clerk, destroying the records associated with the transfer and converting the cash to her own use. Ms. Tager has worked for the city's Office of Finance since 2006. The city will conduct a more in-depth audit to determine if any additional funds were stolen. At this point in the investigation, it appears no other city employees were involved. The investigation is ongoing.
Ms. Tager was arraigned before a Justice of the Peace at the State Police Lincoln Woods Barracks on one (1) count of Embezzlement and released on $5,000 personal recognizance. A pre-arraignment conference is scheduled for April 9, 2013.
Colonel O'Donnell further stated, "I commend our State Police Detectives for their quick, effective and professional response."
Mayor Diossa issued the following statement: "I was made aware of the issue as soon as my staff discovered it, and we called the State Police immediately. I want to thank the State Police for their prompt response and continuing assistance with this ongoing investigation."