Police

Ex-BSO Officer Repays $15,000 in Bogus Overtime, Unworked Shifts

Court records show that Silberberg has pleaded no contest and was sentenced to year-long probation on October 20.
Court records show that Silberberg has pleaded no contest and was sentenced to year-long probation on October 20. Photos courtesy of Broward Sheriff's Office
When it comes to defunding the police, there may have been no one more successful than Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) deputy Luis Silberberg, who swindled the agency out of more than $15,000 by claiming to have worked an entire day on 57 different occasions despite records that show he was either at home or had only worked part of his shift.

Silberberg, who worked at the BSO since 2006, was arrested in July 2020 on accusations that he falsified overtime forms on numerous occasions and lied dozens of times about working full shifts when records showed he did not. He was suspended and later resigned from BSO in February 2021.

Court records show Silberberg has pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a year's probation on October 20. He also agreed to hand over $15,541 in restitution — a sum he has repaid in full.

The disgraced officer had been charged with official misconduct, organized fraud, and grand theft of the third degree; that last charge was reduced to petit theft. (In Florida, petit theft is defined as stealing property worth less than $750.)


While working as a deputy in the robbery unit, Silberberg earned $47,342 in overtime in 2019 on top of his $97,940 salary, according to the Sun Sentinel.

At the time, Silberberg was living in Cutler Bay, roughly 55 miles away from BSO's headquarters in Fort Lauderdale.

BSO began investigating Silberberg in early 2019 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation asked the agency for help looking into Silberberg on an unrelated case.

BSO declined to release details of the federal probe at the time of his arrest, but Silberberg's arrest warrant shows that the FBI and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suspected he was involved with a drug trafficking group in the Caribbean and in the Miami area:


During the briefing FBI Special Agents (SA) and DEA Task Force Officers (TFO) advised that they were currently investigating a Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO) that is operating within the Caribbean and Miami Area of Operation (AOR). As a result of their investigation SA's and TFO's advised that they have reason to believe that BSO Deputy Luis Silberberg, CNN 14881, is involved with the aforementioned DTO.

Silberberg's phone number [redacted] was queried in FBI and DEA databases and was found to be in contact with several known drug associates of the aforementioned DTO.

Upon conclusion of the briefing, the FBI and DEA requested the assistance of the BSO PCU regarding the investigation and surveillance of Deputy Luis Silberberg. At that time, BSO PCU investigators decided to conduct random surveillance on Silberberg as further information was received in reference to the federal investigation. 
Silberberg’s phone number, the warrant notes, was found to have been in contact with "several known drug associates" of the organization and was queried in FBI and DEA databases.

It's unclear whether the FBI is still investigating Silberberg. BSO declined to answer questions about the federal probe, referring inquiries to the federal agencies. The FBI declined to confirm any information about the investigation.

"The FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, except in rare circumstances where the public’s assistance is requested such as a kidnapping or bank robbery," FBI spokesperson James Marshall wrote in an email to New Times.

Silberberg also made headlines for tweets he posted several years after BSO hired him.

A Twitter account under Silberberg's name with a profile photo of the "thin blue line" emblem shows a series of tweets from April through May of 2009, including a mention of "terrorizing Broward County."

Silberberg didn't respond to New Times' requests for comment.
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Alex DeLuca is a fellow at Miami New Times.
Contact: Alex DeLuca