A former sergeant with the Irvine Police Department was charged with 36 felony counts on Tuesday for stealing more than $68,000 in state funds, the department said.
Veteran police officer Matthew Christian August, 47, was charged with 34 felony counts of presenting a false claim and two felony counts of grand theft by an employee, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
August is accused of filing 34 timecards requesting pay for overtime shifts that he never worked between Feb. 25, 2017, and Oct. 19, 2018, authorities said.
He is facing a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison if convicted on all counts.
The Irvine Police Department initiated an internal investigation in 2018 after spotting inconsistencies in August’s work activity and the overtime hours he reported on his time card. Police then referred the case to the district attorney’s office for further investigation.
“Stealing precious taxpayer dollars while wearing the badge only tarnishes that badge, and casts an unwanted shadow over the hundreds of thousands of hard-working law enforcement men and women across the United States who want nothing more than to serve their communities ethically and justly,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
August joined the Irvine Police Department in November 2005.
“The disappointment we feel as a department and as a profession when one of our members betrays the public’s trust cannot be overstated,” Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel said in a statement. “This is an isolated incident and I am proud of the men and women in our department, who are held to the highest standards, and who consistently provide quality service to the Irvine community with integrity, respect, and accountability.”