Former Archer County Justice of the Peace Faces up to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Stealing County Funds
WICHITA FALLS, TX—Joseph Charles Boyle, the former Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2 in Holliday, Texas, appeared in federal court this afternoon, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert K. Roach, and pleaded guilty to a felony Information charging one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Boyle, 63, of Holliday, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He could also be ordered to pay restitution. He will remain on bond pending sentencing, which is set for March 14, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor.
Boyle resigned his position as Justice of the Peace yesterday. In late August 2015, he retired from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where he worked as a correctional officer at the James V. Allred Unit in Iowa Park, Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, Boyle served in his elected position in Archer County, Texas, since January 2003. As Justice of the Peace, Boyle was authorized to impose fines and assess fees on individuals cited with a variety of violations, such as minor in possession of alcohol, speeding, illegal passing, driving without a valid license, and other traffic violations.
From approximately January 1, 2013, through May 5, 2015, on numerous occasions, Boyle stole, embezzled, and obtained by fraud, funds that he collected as payment of fees, fines and penalties, and failed to turn that money over to its rightful owner, Archer County.
Boyle told individuals who had been cited with a violation that the fine was a certain amount, obtained payment from the individual in that amount, and provided the individual with a receipt in that amount. Boyle, however, then kept a portion of the individual’s payment and falsely reported to Archer County that the fine assessed, and the amount received as payment of the fine, was less than the amount he had actually assessed and received.
To help facilitate his theft, Boyle often requested that individuals pay their fines in cash. Frequently, he kept a portion of the cash the individual paid, and then purchased a money order to make the payment to Archer County, all in an effort to disguise the fact that he had been paid in cash.
Boyle admitted that the total amount of money that he stole, embezzled and obtained by fraud from Archer County was more than $40,000.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Brasher is in charge of the prosecution.