Texas Judge Gets 2 Years for Pocketing Fines

     WICHITA FALLS, Texas (CN) – A North Texas judge was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for pocketing portions of fines he assessed against several defendants.
     Joseph Charles Boyle, 64, was Justice of the Peace for Precinct 2 in Archer County. U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor ordered Boyle to pay over $133,000 in restitution for the money he stole and placed him immediately into federal custody.
     Boyle was sentenced near the maximum sentence allowed under federal sentencing guidelines after he pleaded guilty in November to one count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds.
     Prosecutors said Boyle had served in his elected position since January 2003, imposing fines and fees on defendants in driver’s license, traffic and minor in possession of alcohol cases, among others. They say he stole the money from January 2013 to May 5, 2015.
     “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,” prosecutors said in a statement Monday. “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.”
     Boyle asked defendants to pay their fines in cash to facilitate the theft.
     “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,” prosecutors said.
     Boyle resigned from the bench the day before his guilty plea was entered. Two months earlier, he retired as a correctional officer at the James V. Allred Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Iowa Park.

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