More Massachusetts State Troopers sentenced in overtime scam
BOSTON – A retired Massachusetts State Police (MSP) Lieutenant and a suspended MSP Trooper were sentenced yesterday in connection with the ongoing investigation of overtime abuse at the state agency.
Retired MSP Lieutenant David Wilson, 58, of Charlton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to one day (deemed served), two years of supervised release with the first six months to be served in home detention, and restitution of $12,450. Suspended MSP Trooper Heath McAuliffe, 41, of Hopkinton, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper to one day (deemed served), one year of supervised release with the first six months to be served in home detention, a fine of $4,000, and restitution of $7,860. Wilson and McAuliffe previously pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. The government recommended six months incarceration for both Wilson and McAuliffe.
Wilson, who served as the Officer-in-Charge of several overtime shifts, received overtime pay for shifts from which he left early or did not work at all. Specifically, in 2016, Wilson earned approximately $259,475, which included approximately $102,062 in overtime pay. During that year, the investigation revealed that Wilson earned approximately $12,450 in overtime pay for 124.5 AIRE overtime hours that he did not work.
In 2016, McAuliffe, who was assigned to Troop E, which was responsible for enforcing criminal and traffic regulations along the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate I-90, earned approximately $164,680, which included approximately $60,908 in overtime pay. In 2015, McAuliffe earned approximately $180,215, which included approximately $83,496 in overtime pay.
The conduct involves overtime pay for selective enforcement initiatives, specifically the Accident and Injury Reduction Effort program (AIRE), which is intended to reduce accidents, crashes, and injuries on I-90 through an enhanced presence of MSP Troopers and targeting vehicles traveling at excessive speeds.
Wilson and McAuliffe were required to work the entire duration of the four hour shift and truthfully report the date, time and sector of deployment on the citations issued during the shift. However, Wilson and McAuliffe admitted that they had been paid for hours they did not work, and for overtime shifts from which they left early. Wilson and McAuliffe concealed the fraud by submitting false paperwork and citations that were issued outside of the overtime shifts and that had been altered to create the appearance that they were issued during overtime shifts.
In 2016, MSP received annual benefits from the U.S. Department of Transportation in excess of $10,000, which were funded pursuant to numerous federal grants.
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 case.