(WWLP) – Three Massachusetts State Police Troopers who were assigned to the now-dismantled Troop E have been arrested on charges of theft of government funds in connection with the recent overtime pay scandal.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the arrests of Lt. David Wilson, of Charlton, Trooper Paul Cesan, of Southwick, and Trooper Gary Herman, of Chester, during a news conference at Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston Wednesday morning.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Wilson, Herman, and Cesan are alleged to have received overtime pay for hours they never worked or shifts in which they left one to seven hours early.
Troop E was responsible for enforcing criminal and traffic regulations along the Massachusetts Turnpike.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the ongoing investigation into discrepancies in overtime pay revealed the following:
- In 2016, Wilson earned approximately $230,000, including $68,000 in overtime pay — $12,450 in overtime pay for hours never worked
- In 2016, Herman earned $227,826, including $63,000 in overtime pay — $12,468 in overtime pay for hours never worked or shifts in which he left early
- In 2016, Cesan earned $163,500 including $50,866 in overtime pay — $29,000 in overtime pay for hours never worked
The troopers allegedly concealed the fraud by submitting citations that were previously issued, altered to create the appearance that the citation was issued during the overtime shift, and submitted citations that never took place.
Head of Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin released the following statement in regard to the arrests:
“As part of the ongoing implementation of our wide ranging reforms, we continue to audit overtime payments received by department members, and to provide the results of those audits to prosecutors for their review for potential criminality. We fully support and will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigations being conducted by the US Attorney and the Attorney General.”
Those reforms include the elimination of Troop E, absorption of those troopers into other regional troops, and stricter oversight for any current overtime shifts.
According to Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio, the department has identified approximately 40 personnel who had apparent discrepancies between pay received and hours worked in 2016. They are now auditing 2015 overtime payments.
All three troopers have initial court appearances scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Wednesday in federal court in Boston.
The charge of theft of government funds provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss.