For Immediate Release - November 19, 2008

DOC Employee Arrested for Allegedly Stealing State Funds and Equipment for His Own Personal Use

Arraignment expected today at 2:00 p.m. in Greenfield District Court

View accompanying media:

GREENFIELD - Today, a lieutenant in the Special Operations Division of the Department of Correction (DOC) was arrested in connection with allegedly stealing approximately $100,000 in state funds, firearms and other items from the DOC for his own personal use.

Gary Mendes, age 48, of Berkley, is charged with Larceny by Scheme over $250, and Procurement Fraud. Mendes was arrested this morning in Berkley without incident by the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office. Mendes is expected to be arraigned in Greenfield District Court at 2:00 p.m.

In 2007, the DOC Internal Affairs Division investigated allegations that a member of their Special Operations Division had been improperly taking equipment for personal use and was misrepresenting certain purchases as legitimate DOC equipment purchases. After conducting their investigation, the DOC referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office in March 2008. Authorities discovered that Mendes allegedly purchased numerous items from a law enforcement supplies distributor in Western Massachusetts for his own personal use with state funds. The company sells law enforcement related equipment to authorized individuals and law enforcement organizations throughout the Commonwealth.

Investigators learned that between 2004 and 2008 Mendes, who was responsible for the purchase of ammunition, firearms, duty gear and certain other specialized equipment for the DOC, falsely reported the value, cost and quantity of equipment and ammunition that the DOC believed they had paid for or had in their possession, by misrepresenting invoices he had produced. Authorities allege that Mendes would knowingly submit invoices for more merchandise than he actually used or needed, and then would use the difference in value as credit to purchase items for himself. Mendes allegedly did this in order to create a credit balance with the law enforcement supplies distributor. By employing this scheme, Mendes allegedly caused the DOC to be improperly charged by the distributor for supplies that were never received by the DOC. Mendes allegedly then used this balance to purchase merchandise such as a baseball pitching machine, a motorcycle/ATV trailer, cameras, hunting equipment, firearms and other items. Authorities allege that the majority of the items received, purchased or obtained through this process were for Mendes' personal use.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Rick Grundy, Chief of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Criminal Bureau, and Assistant Attorney General Dean Mazzone, Chief of Attorney General Coakley's Enterprise and Major Crimes Division. The case was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office, and the Commissioner's Office of the Department of Correction.

##########

Press Conference Photos

Gary Mendes, age 48, of Berkley

Gary Mendes, age 48, of Berkley, is charged with Larceny by Scheme over $250, and Procurement Fraud.



Mendes press conference photo - table with evidence
View Larger Link to the image file.

Attorney General Coakley addresses the media. Also pictured (from left): Assistant Attorney General Rick Grundy, Chief of the Criminal Bureau; Harold Clarke, Commissioner of DOC; and Lt. Robert Irwin, Massachusetts State Police, Attorney General's Office.



Mendes press conference - evidence
View Larger Link to the image file.

Items seized by law enforcement during the course of the investigation.



Mendes press conference - Attorney General Coakley
View Larger Link to the image file.

Attorney General Coakley addresses the media.

Press Conference Audio and Transcript

Listen to the press conference audio from November 19, 2008:

Read a transcript of the press conference: