Ex-city cop convicted of fraud

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By The Staff

A former Las Vegas police officer has pleaded guilty to allegations that he defrauded city government, prosecutors say.

On July 7, Shawn Montoya entered his plea in court to charges of fraud and filing a false claim, both fourth-degree felonies, District Attorney Richard Flores said.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Montoya is required to pay full restitution to the Police Department and to an insurance company to which he defrauded, and perform 100 hours of community service, Flores said. Montoya will be on probation for 18 months.

Montoya filed false insurance claims under a worker’s compensation case that arose while he was employed with the city, according to the district attorney’s office. He submitted payment of $1,242 to the city and $10,593 to the insurance company, Flores said.

Prosecutors alleged that Montoya used his city credit card to place fuel in his personal car. That was discovered because he has charged more gallons of gas in several instances than could fit in his squad car’s tank.

Authorities also discovered that he was double-dipping by logging hours at the Police Department at the same time he was supposedly working as a security guard for Wal-Mart.

The alleged criminal activity occurred from October 2007 to March 2008. Montoya resigned from the Police Department in late March 2008.

“Mr. Montoya used his position as a city police officer to violate the public trust,” Flores said in a statement. “During my tenure as district attorney, we have successfully prosecuted police officers, jail guards, government employees, etc.”

He said state police Agent Mark Soriano did a good job in investigating the Montoya case.

Montoya was a high-profile officer in the Police Department, serving as the grant writer. He made headlines when he defended the department’s push for resource offices in local schools in 2007.

He also publicly advocated for tougher DWI laws.

Another former Las Vegas police officer, Robert Ortega, faces three counts of trafficking prescription medications. The charges were the result of an investigation by the Police Department.

A current officer, Martin Salazar, is under investigation by the state police. That was after allegations by jailers against Salazar went public. The jailers alleged that Salazar threatened an inmate with violence. The district attorney requested the state police inquiry.