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Former police sergeant indicted on fraud charges

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A grand jury indicted a former Albuquerque police officer on 10 counts of fraud, embezzlement and other charges for allegedly ripping off the city when he was a sergeant with the department.

The indictment, filed in 2nd Judicial District Court on Tuesday, charges James Geha, 50, with computer access with intent to defraud or embezzle over $2,500; fraud over $2,500; and eight counts of paying or receiving public money for services not rendered or in the alternative making or permitting false public voucher.

Michael Patrick, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, said the case relates to false time sheets Geha submitted when he was a sergeant with Albuquerque police. The crimes charged in the indictment took place between September 2015 and April 2016.

ABQReport, an independent journalism website, reported that Geha quit AFPD in late 2016 before the former police chief fired him. The website said New Mexico State Police found in 2016 that Geha had added nearly 350 hours of overtime he didn’t work to his paychecks in a one-year period, bilking the city out of $15,000 in that time period.

After leaving the police department, Geha worked as a special agent for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, according to his page on a professional website that was no longer available on Tuesday.

Gilbert Gallegos, a police spokesman, said in an email that Chief Michael Geier, was made aware only recently that prior police Chief Gorden Eden never submitted documents outlining the investigation into Geha to the state Law Enforcement Academy Board, which has the ability to pull a police officer’s law enforcement certification. Gallegos said Geier will be submitting those documents to the board and recommending that Geha lose his certification.

Fred Mowrer, Geha’s attorney, couldn’t not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.

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