She seemed like a model employee, but in the end Alis Archibeque was merely an actress who couldn't sustain her act. On January 29, Archibeque, former office manager for the City of Riverside (Calif.) Police Officers Association (RPOA), was charged in Riverside Superior Court with making about $346,000 in unauthorized purchases and money transfers. She was arrested and booked on February 7. The alleged losses, which occurred over a half-decade and did not involve police department funds, were discovered following a lengthy police investigation.
Alis Archibeque began working at the 360-member Riverside Police Officers Association in April 2006, winning the union’s trust by working late hours at the office and assisting at RPOA charity events. Unfortunately, starting in May 2007, she allegedly used the labor organization’s credit cards as her personal bank account. The ruse began to unfold in February 2012, when union board members discovered a suspicious payment of $11,000 to the Orange County Department of Child Support Services made the previous September. A subsequent investigation revealed that the recipient was a Moreno Valley resident, Jamar Moore, who just happened to be the husband of Archibeque.
Apparently, there was a lot more where that came from. The RPOA ordered a full forensic audit of several bank accounts, concluding that Alis Archibeque had made more than 7,000 unauthorized purchases or money transfers for such purposes as groceries, utility bills, home appliances, car payments, concerts, limousines, jewelry and vacations. All told, noted Brian Money, a detective in the Riverside Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit, the embezzlement totaled $346,000. A search warrant of Archibeque’s home, executed in November 2012, turned up several items bought with her RPOA credit cards. By then, she was long gone; she had feigned a fainting spell in March 2012 and never returned to her job. She was arrested at a restaurant in Redlands last month.
Riverside police cite Archibeque’s control over most of their union’s financial records, and the trust she built, as the reasons for the breakdown in accountability. Detective Money explained: “Police officers are not businessmen. That’s when you want to think about hiring a CPA or an accountant. The whole thing is to have a check, check and double-check person.” Archibeque’s successor hopefully will have this quality. Local cops are counting on it.