The following is a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney's office:
WOBURN – The former city receiver for the city of Everett pleaded guilty to stealing more than $16,000 in public building department fees, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced today.
William Roccia, 42, of Hollywood, Fl and formerly of Everett, pleaded guilty on June 27 in Middlesex Superior Court to a charge of larceny over $250. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Edward Leibensperger ordered the defendant placed on probation with conditions of 40 hours community service and also to pay restitution in the amount of $16,855.
“Anytime a public employee violates the trust of their community and taxpayers they must be held accountable for their actions,” said District Attorney Ryan. “This defendant stole from the city and then attempted to quickly move to another state to avoid being caught. I applaud the work of the city of Everett and Everett Police for investigating this theft of public monies.”
From 2006 until 2012, the defendant worked for the city of Everett as receiver, a position that required the defendant to collect and track payments to city departments. The defendant was charged with collecting fees for services including building department fines, fees and permits and then turning the money over to the treasurer’s office for deposit. He was the only person who handled money before it was provided to the treasurer’s office.
In May 2012, the city of Everett hired an auditor. At the end of May, the defendant abruptly resigned his position, giving just five days notice, and telling co-workers he was moving to Florida. In July, the city received calls from several individuals reporting that checks they had written to the city for building permits had never been cashed. The city and Everett Police launched an investigation.
The investigation revealed that between January 2012 and May 2012, the treasurer’s office had no deposited any money from the building department. City records indicated that the building department generated $154,000 in revenue through permits and fees – money which had passed through the hands of the defendant. None of the checks collected during that time period were cashed. Of the $154,000 in fees, $16,855 was in the form of cash and was never recovered.
The defendant lied to staff in the building department as to why they had not received receipts showing the money had been deposited by the treasurer. No other department was missing any money.
The case was investigated by the Everett Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Doug Nagengast.