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Former Port of L.A. police chief sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for tax evasion

Former Port of L.A. police chief sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for tax evasion
Former Port of Los Angeles Police Chief Ronald J. Boyd, right, visits the port's threat detection center in 2011. Boyd was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to federal tax evasion charges. (Christina House / For The Times)

The former chief of police at the Port of Los Angeles was sentenced to two years in federal prison Tuesday for concealing over $1.1 million in income and making false statements to the FBI.

Ronald Boyd, 58, of Torrance, was also ordered to serve three years' supervised release and pay $305,054 in restitution, according Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

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Boyd pleaded guilty in February as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, who agreed to drop federal corruption charges, according to U.S. District Court records. He also admitted to a misdemeanor count of failure to file a complete income tax return in 2011.

Boyd, who was police chief at the time, was accused of lying to federal investigators about accepting a bribe in exchange for securing and steering a port contract for a smartphone app, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The app, PortWatch, was created to allow port workers, city officials and the public to report on criminal activity, emergencies and operations at the port.

Boyd, who retired from the Port of L.A. on Nov. 29, was indicted in April.

According to the U.S. District Court federal indictment, Boyd and two business partners formed BDB Digital Communications, which entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with the company developing the app. They agreed to receive a share of the company's revenue by marketing and selling a similar app, MetroWatch, to other government agencies. Boyd was expected to receive about 13.33% of the revenue, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Boyd admitted to lying to federal investigators after telling them that he had no financial stake in MetroWatch, according to the indictment.

Federal prosecutors said he failed to disclose more than $1.1 million in income on his 2007 to 2011 tax returns from At Close Range Inc., a Torrance-based security company that he operated.

In February, Boyd's attorney, Vicki Podberesky told The Times the resolution was fair.

"It clearly represents that Chief Boyd did not act with any corrupt intent," Podberesky said.

Times staff writer Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.

For breaking news in California, follow VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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