Three State Prison Guards Indicted for Inflating Overtime Reports

Three Arizona Department of Corrections detention officers have been indicted on fraud charges following a long investigation that showed they had cheated on pay sheets, says the Maricopa County Attorney's office.

Evan Vincelli, 28, Sonja Schroeder, 26, and Joseph Constantino, 38, stand accused of stealing a total of $56,000 in 2006 by falsifying overtime reports and stating they were at work when they were not.

The County Attorney's office says DOC workers contacted authorities in 2007 after noticing the payroll discrepancies. Following an "extensive check of bank records," the County Attorney's office filed criminal complaints against the trio in February and obtained the grand jury indictment this month.

It sounds like the trio is alleged to have fudged a little here and a little there. But it added up to quite a bit more on their paychecks, at taxpayer expense.

We would bet this case is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to DOC overtime fraud, with most cases the fudging is too minimal to notice.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.