BILLERICA – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian have confirmed that Ronald Moloney, 50, of Peabody, a Correction Officer with the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO), was arraigned yesterday in Middlesex Superior Court on the charges of larceny over $1,200 and filing a false report by a public employee in connection with allegedly using his access to personal inmate accounts, known as canteen accounts, to falsely issue debit cards for his personal use. 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.
In June of 2019, 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 Middlesex Sheriff’s Office discovered that the defendant had 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. The defendant 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 Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and Middlesex Sheriff’s Office investigators in collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police, conducted 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.
At yesterday’s arraignment Superior Court Justice Rosemary Connolly ordered the defendant to stay away from certain potential witnesses, including MSO employees. The defendant was released on his own recognizance and ordered to appear for a pretrial hearing on January 17, 2020. The MSO has suspended Moloney without pay pending the resolution of this case.
These charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The prosecutor assigned to these cases is Assistant District Attorney Mary F. P. O’Neill.