NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York police detective has been arrested and charged with filing a fake crime tip in an attempt to cash in on the $1,000 reward, prosecutors said on Thursday.
John Malloy, 46, was arraigned in state court in Manhattan on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to felony counts of forgery, and filing a false claim, and lesser charges of official misconduct and attempted petty larceny, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said. He was released on his own recognizance after the hearing.
Prosecutors said Malloy, a detective with the department's Operation Gun Stop program since 2006, filed a fake tip report in November 2012 for a firearm that had already been recovered in Brooklyn. An arrest in the case had also been made without any tip, prosecutors said.
Malloy then forged the signatures of a fellow detective, a supervising sergeant and a police inspector in an effort to claim the reward, prosecutors said. The case was reported to the police department's Internal Affairs bureau for further investigation.
In a statement to investigators, Malloy said he forged the signatures merely to placate superiors who were pressuring him to file a report for a detective who took in a tip the night before, court documents show.
"I couldn't read his handwriting, so I recopied the form and signed his name and (the sergeant's name). I know I shouldn't have. I could have asked them to do it," Malloy told investigators, according to court documents.
"I was having health problems and under a lot of stress," he added, according to the documents.
An attorney for Malloy could not be immediately reached for comment on Thursday.
The Gun Stop Program is run by the New York City Police Foundation as a way for civilians to report illegal gun activity. Since its inception in 2001, tips coming into the program have led to more than 5,600 arrests and the recovery of 3,350 illegal weapons, its website said.
Police have approved over $2.1 million in rewards, the website said.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Peter Cooney)