By J.D. Miles

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News has confirmed at least six but likely more than a dozen Dallas Police officers are off the streets and being investigated for a crime.

They are among dozens caught up in an alleged pyramid scheme to make money. Pyramid schemes disguised as gifting programs began a resurgence at the beginning of the pandemic. That’s what sources say led dozens of Dallas Police officers inside the South Central Patrol bureau to contribute thousands of dollars each with the promise of bigger payouts by recruiting more officers into what’s known as an illegal pyramid operation.

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“It’s kind of ironic that the Dallas Police Department has the swindle unit in which they educate people on these types of crimes and the risks that are available, however, anybody can get involved in this,” says Bill Dendy, a Dallas attorney and financial fraud expert.

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Sources say the officers were placed on administrative this week while the internal investigation will be forwarded to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office. The president of the Black Police Association says he’s concerned that some of the officers facing a public integrity investigation may be unfairly accused of crime. “That investigation needs to be sound and it needs to be well directed with no malice,” says Terrance Hopkins, Black Police Association President. “I was told some people were told to do one thing and others did something else and I think a lot of these officers are going to be found to be victims as opposed to conspirators.”

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When CBS 11 News first reported on the pyramid investigation back in March, we reported as many as 40 or more officers contributed to the gifting program. But only those who recruited others to join have now been temporarily removed from their jobs.