Crime

Veteran East St. Louis police officer accused of taking thousands in fake overtime pay

A veteran East St. Louis police officer was indicted Tuesday for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in fake overtime pay.

Mario Fennoy, 48, of Lebanon, was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of obtaining overtime compensation from the East St. Louis Police Department for nearly a year.

U.S. Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft said Fennoy allegedly started submitting false claims for overtime pay in 2018 while he was working as a patrol sergeant. He was a member of the department for 21 years.

According to the indictment, Fennoy was at home, spending extended periods of time at a secondary residence, when he was supposed to be out working the streets.

Fennoy could not be reached for comment.

“Every day, many dedicated police officers report to work in East St. Louis, one of the most impoverished and dangerous jurisdictions in the country, to protect and serve the people who live there,” Weinhoeft said in a news release. “Due to serious under staffing, many of them work considerable overtime hours trying to improve the safety of this community. We strongly support the men and women in law enforcement who work in these difficult circumstances. But at the same time, the U.S. attorney’s office will continue to serve its critical role preserving the public trust by holding law enforcement accountable when necessary.”

BND PUBLIC PAY DATABASE

From April 2017 to March 2018, Fennoy submitted more than 50 bogus requests for overtime pay, billing the city for more than 200 hours, the indictment alleges. The fraudulent overtime pay boosted Fennoy’s salary from, $69,382 to more than $200,000 in total wages. If convicted, Fennoy will face a maximum of 10 years in prison and will have to pay a $250,000 restitution fee.

Fennoy was put on administration leave with pay in May 2018, when then former Police Chief Jerry Simon was in office. Former City Manager Daffney Moore uncovered the alleged crime.

Fennoy at one point was on former State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly’s no-credibiliity list. Fennoy said previously that was more than a dozen years ago. He said since that time he has earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in criminal justice administration.

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