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Former Tucson Police Lieutenant Charged with Defrauding Police Union

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 1, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictment of former Tucson Police Department lieutenant William A. Ryberg, Jr., 41, of Tucson, on charges relating to his alleged theft of funds and misuse of credit cards from the Tucson Police Officer’s Association (TPOA), a collective bargaining association for Tucson Police Department peace officers.

Ryberg was charged with two counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, a Class 2 felony, two counts of theft, a Class 2 felony, two counts of credit card fraud, a Class 5 felony, and one count of money laundering, a Class 3 felony. 

The indictment alleges that between 2001 and 2008, Ryberg embezzled over $25,000 from TPOA, which he served as treasurer from 2000 until 2003. According to investigators, Ryberg made repeated unauthorized charges on two TPOA credit cards issued to him in his capacity as treasurer. Investigators further allege that Ryberg continued to make purchases after he concluded his time as treasurer and concealed the purchases by changing the address where monthly billing statements were sent.  

During approximately this same period of time, Ryberg is further alleged to have submitted fraudulent invoices to TPOA from his computer repair and servicing company, Computers, Networks, Etc. In 2000, Ryberg allegedly began issuing Computers, Networks Etc. invoices to TPOA for computer related matters.  Ryberg allegedly authorized $50,000 in payment to Computers, Networks, Etc. for work and equipment that were never provided to TPOA. 

Ryberg is also charged with defrauding American Express from 1996 to 2003, in a separate matter. In 1996, Ryberg allegedly stole his father’s personal identifying information and opened an American Express card in his father’s name without permission. Investigators believe that Ryberg made nearly $40,000 in unauthorized charges on the card between 1996 and 2002.

Ryberg was employed by the Tucson Police Department from 1992 to November 2008. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 12.5 years in prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Pima County Superior Court on Oct. 7 at 1 p.m. For more information, contact Anne Hilby at (602) 542-8019.

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