NYC Detective Forced to Retire in Phantom Witness Case

Thomas Rice is under criminal investigation for inventing witnesses and other evidence in at least 30 cases going back seven years.

A New York police detective who made a career out of creating phantom witnesses to close investigations was bumped down to police officer and forced to retire after a new probe uncovered 10 more cases in which he fabricated witnesses and other information, the New York Daily News reports. A criminal investigation has been launched against former Detective Thomas Rice. The investigation started after a  series of Daily News articles detailed Rice’s misconduct, police. “Internal Affairs found in the course of their investigation several additional reports that appeared to contain false information,” said police spokesman Peter Donald.

After being served with disciplinary charges on Tuesday, Rice pleaded guilty and was immediately suspended for 30 days. He was forced to forfeit 60 vacation days, was demoted to police officer and forced to retire. Rice closed at least 22 grand larceny cases between 2011 and 2012 by entering more than 100 fake witness names and addresses in official documents. After he was caught, the NYPD allowed him keep his job and rank, but docked him 20 vacation days and transferred him.