Former Stoneham police sergeant charged with wire fraud, accused of lying to landlords

Robert Kennedy allegedly lied on rental applications and failed to pay his rent, despite making a six-figure salary as a Stoneham police officer.

A former Stoneham police detective sergeant has been charged with wire fraud after allegedly lying on rental applications, fraudulently obtaining leases for three separate apartments, then intentionally withholding rent, federal prosecutors said Friday. 

Robert Kennedy, 53, was charged with one count of wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a press release. His initial appearance in federal court was scheduled for Friday morning.

The Stoneham resident is accused of defrauding his last three landlords by providing “materially false and misleading information” on his rental applications, then withholding rent payments — despite making $141,000 to $187,000 a year from the Stoneham Police Department, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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“As a result, Kennedy lived in the apartments rent-free by allegedly taking advantage of the slow eviction process,” the press release noted. has reached out to a federal public defender assigned to represent Kennedy for comment. 


Kennedy’s most recent landlord required him to submit to a tenant screening service, including a credit check and eviction history check, according to the release. Kennedy allegedly provided the birthday and social security number of a relative with the same name; prosecutors said his own information would have likely shown a history of collections, delinquent payments, defaults, and evictions. 

Upon moving into the apartment, Kennedy allegedly gave the landlord bad checks for his rent and security deposit, then failed to make subsequent rent payments. After living in the apartment for about four months, he now owes the landlord approximately $14,000 in overdue rent, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kennedy’s rocky renting history came to light in a NBC10 Boston investigation in early February, which found that the former police officer was tied to eviction cases dating back 20 years. 

In an emailed statement, Kennedy reportedly told NBC10 Boston that his “personal financial history is no one’s business.”

“The financial decisions I’ve made have not been ideal,” Kennedy’s statement read, according to the news outlet. “I’m working as hard as I can every day to rectify my situation. This should not cost me my distinguished career as a police officer protecting my hometown that I love.”


Kennedy ultimately resigned from the Stoneham Police Department on Feb. 23 after he was notified of an internal investigation into a history of civil claims against him, Stoneham Town Administrator Dennis Sheehan and Police Chief James McIntyre said in a joint statement Friday. 

They said the matter has been referred to the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, the state agency tasked with overseeing law enforcement officers’ certification. Under state law, the commission suspends officers who are arrested, charged, or indicted for a felony.

“The Town of Stoneham is grateful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston and to the FBI for their diligent work on this matter,” Sheehan and McIntyre said. “The Town and the Stoneham Police Department will continue to cooperate with their investigation as the case progresses.”

If convicted, Kennedy faces up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. 


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