Police officers are sworn to uphold the law, not break it. William A. Ryberg, Jr. tried to get away with the latter – and in more than one place. Ryberg, a former lieutenant with the Tucson police department, was indicted several weeks ago on various state embezzlement and money-laundering charges. He allegedly defrauded his union out of about $75,000, and in a separate case, made $40,000 in charges on an American Express card he illegally had obtained. Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard made the announcement on October 1. If convicted on all charges, Ryberg faces a maximum of twelve and a half years in prison.
Ryberg served with Tucson police during 1992-2008, and for the period 2000-03 as treasurer of the Tucson Police Officers Association. Investigators concluded that during 2001-08, Ryberg, now 41, allegedly made about $25,000 in unauthorized charges on two association credit cards issued to him, and continued to do so even after his tenure as a union officer had ended. He concealed the purchases by changing the address to which monthly billing statements were sent. Additionally, he billed his union $50,000 in phony invoices payable to his company, Computers, Networks, Etc., for work and equipment not provided. In separate charges, Ryberg allegedly made some $40,000 in unauthorized American Express charges during 1996-2002 by stealing his father’s ID number and opening an account in his name. All told, the thefts added up to around $115,000. A cop should know better.