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First Massachusetts State Trooper sentenced in overtime abuse investigation

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BOSTON – A suspended Massachusetts State Police Trooper was sentenced today in federal court in Boston in connection with the ongoing investigation of overtime abuse at the Massachusetts State Police (MSP).

Eric Chin, 46, of Hanover, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to one day in prison, deemed served, and one year of supervised release with three months to be served in home detention. Chin was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,125. In December 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds.

Chin was an MSP Trooper assigned to Troop E, which was responsible for enforcing criminal and traffic regulations along the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate I-90. In 2016, Chin earned $302,400, which included approximately $131,653 in overtime pay.

Chin was paid for overtime hours that he did not work and for at least one four-hour shift that he did not work at all. Chin concealed his fraud by submitting fraudulent citations designed to create the appearance that he had worked overtime hours that he had not, and, falsely claimed in MSP paperwork and payroll entries that he had worked the entirety of his overtime shifts.

Chin admitted collecting $7,125 for overtime hours that he did not work.

The overtime in question involved the Accident and Injury Reduction Effort program (AIRE), which was intended to reduce accidents, crashes, and injuries on I-90 through an enhanced presence of MSP Troopers who were to target vehicles traveling at excessive speeds.

Chin is the first Trooper to be sentenced as a result of the ongoing investigation. Thus far, eight MSP troopers have been charged and have pleaded guilty. Seven are awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Douglas Shoemaker, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dustin Chao and Mark Grady of Lelling’s Public Corruption Unit are prosecuting the cases.

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