Ronald J. Boyd, chief of police for the Port of Los Angeles, was indicted Thursday on charges of wire fraud, making false statements to the FBI and tax evasion, according to media reports. The 57-year-old has reportedly been the chief of police at the busiest container port in the United States for over a decade.
Boyd was reportedly accused of hiding his links to a software company that he helped to obtain a contract with the port. He was placed on administrative leave on Thursday and has agreed to surrender to the FBI next week, Daniel J. O’Brien, an assistant U.S. attorney said, according to the Associated Press. If convicted for the 16 counts of charges against him, Boyd could reportedly face a maximum of 124 years in federal prison.
“We look forward to defending the fraud charges,” Ed Robinson, Boyd’s attorney said, according to the Los Angeles Times, adding that his client was aware of the investigation and is cooperating with federal authorities.
The charges against Boyd are linked to a project to develop PortWatch, a social networking program designed to help provide information and alert authorities about possible criminal activity at the facility. But Boyd and two business parties intended to market and sell a similar app, called Metrowatch, to government agencies, with Boyd receiving nearly 13 percent of the gross revenues, according to the U.S. attorney’s indictment.
“We believe that our PortWatch app is the first of its kind nationally and our hope is that it will provide for a better means of disseminating critical information to our constituents and a more meaningful and speedy response to any reported incident,” Boyd was quoted as saying in a news release announcing the launch of PortWatch in 2012, according to the LA Times.