A Maryland Police Corporal and her husband, the former Chief of Homicide investigations, and a “highly respected” Captain at the same department, were indicted earlier this week for theft and conspiracy charges.
The husband and wife cops face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison according to officials.
Prince George County Police Department employed Corporal Jennifer Simms and Captain Harold “Jimmy” Simms III until last year, but now have charged the pair with perpetrating a two year scheme to defraud taxpayers using false timecards
The scheme netted the pair $200,000 over just two years.
Corporal Simms was a veteran officer with 13 years at the department, and was administratively suspended in May 2015 after the Internal Affairs investigation opened.
No mugshot of Corporal Simms is available online, and even local news station WUSA could only run a ‘Jane Doe’ suspect silhouette of the disgraced cop.
Of course Jane Doe seems to be wearing a hoodie.
The Prince George County Police Department needed over 3000 man-hours to investigate the theft, who say they learned of the allegations in December 2014.
The department allowed the theft to go on for 5 months, before taking action against Corporal Simms.
It’s unknown if the administrative suspension was with or without pay.
But if it was with pay, it would be hard to tell the difference between the couple’s scam, and the usual paid vacation for wrongdoing scam pulled by police across the United States.
Captain Simms III was with the department for 18 years, and quickly slipped into retirement after his wife was suspended.
The award-winning homicide Captain was credited for saving a young girl’s life as she threatened suicide by jumping off an overpass, then given the “Bronze Medal of Valor” for his role in saving her according to the department’s website and a Silver Medal for another incident in 2012 where he shot and wounded a suspect who was high on PCP. (see cover photo)
While Captain Simms III did not provide false time-sheets, he was aware of his wife’s actions and profited from them, which is similar to PINAC’s report last year about a Baltimore SWAT officer charged with conspiracy to commit theft for similar reasons, assisting his wife who was CEO of a public employee credit union.
Grave concerning to police accountability advocates is the extreme length of time between the Prince George’s department being tipped to the allegations, until the department took action to prevent any further damage
Ten long months passed before Prince George’s criminal investigators brought a charging affidavit to prosecutors, which led to the summary indictment of the pair.
Thoughtfully, the department noted that at Captain Simms III never had direct oversight of his wife Corporal Simms due to the obvious conflict of interest.
Clearly, it didn’t make any difference in the end result of their employment.
There are questions surrounding why the pair are not facing wire fraud charges, since direct deposit was used.
The dauntless duo would face an additional 10 years if convicted of wire fraud too.
Betrayal of fiduciary trust coming from a pair of veteran authority figures in their department is exactly the kind of fraud which undermines public trust in the system of law enforcement.