State police say they discovered that starting in 2012, Matthew Starr, a Sergeant at the Altoona Police Department, began stealing tens of thousands of dollars of equipment and overtime pay from the city.
The criminal complaint accuses Starr of making illegal transactions with area businesses and inventing a company in order to buy and sell thousands of dollars worth of police equipment.
Trooper David McGarvey said, “[Starr] would represent himself as an Altoona Police officer, and get money from individuals and businesses throughout the area. And, use that money for his own personal use.”
Starr allegedly gambled that money away. The criminal complaint alleges that Starr had a combined net loss of more than 50,000 at Rocky Gap and Rivers casinos. It also claims that Starr would say he was working overtime in Altoona, but he was actually gambling at one of the casino. He charged the city close to $9,000 worth of fraudulent overtime.
Trooper David Mcgarvey is concerned about what citizens will think.
“More importantly it actually takes away from the trust factor that people have for police in general.” McGarvey added, “this is just one individual strayed from his oath of office, and we hope we don’t get all lumped together in general.”
Starr is also accused of stealing funds from a GoFundMe account, that he set up for someone struggling with medical bills. The complaint alleges that he spent the money gambling and used a medical insurance check and money from others to pay a portion of it back.
Starr faces ten felony charges and one misdemeanor. His bail is set at $250,000.