Eighth Massachusetts State Trooper Arrested
Two Previously Charged Retired State Troopers Agree to Plead Guilty
BOSTON – A Massachusetts State Police Trooper was arrested and charged today, and two previously charged retired State Troopers agreed to plead guilty in connection with the ongoing investigation of overtime abuse at the Massachusetts State Police (MSP).
Heath McAuliffe, 40, of Hopkinton, was arrested this morning and charged in a criminal complaint with embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. McAuliffe will appear in federal court in Boston later today.
As alleged in court documents, McAuliffe was an MSP Trooper assigned to Troop E, which is responsible for enforcing criminal and traffic regulations along the Massachusetts Turnpike, Interstate I-90. McAuliffe allegedly received overtime pay for hours that he either did not actually work at all, or shifts in which he departed one to four hours early.
The alleged conduct involves overtime pay for selective enforcement initiatives, including the Accident and Injury Reduction Effort program (AIRE). That initiative was intended to reduce accidents, crashes, and injuries on I-90 through an enhanced presence of MSP Troopers and targeting vehicles traveling at excessive speeds. McAuliffe was 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. As alleged, McAuliffe concealed his fraud by submitting citations that were issued prior to the overtime shift, altered the citations to create the appearance that citations were issued during the overtime shift, and/or submitted citations that were never issued to drivers.
Trooper McAuliffe earned $164,680 in 2016, including approximately $60,908 in overtime, and earned $180,215 in 2015, including approximately $83,496 in overtime. According to court documents, between Aug. 1, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2016, McAuliffe was paid $9,825 for AIRE overtime hours that he did not work.
In addition, retired Troopers David Wilson, 58, of Charlton, and Daren DeJong, 57, of Uxbridge, both agreed to plead guilty pursuant to plea agreements filed today. Wilson and DeJong were arrested and charged on June 27, 2018, and July 25, 2018, respectively, with embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. A date for the plea hearings has not yet been scheduled.
In 2016, Wilson, a lieutenant, earned approximately $259,475, which included approximately $102,062 in overtime pay. Wilson has agreed to plead guilty to having been paid $12,450 for overtime hours that he did not work. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of between six months and 12 months of incarceration.
In 2016, DeJong earned $200,416, which included approximately $68,394 in overtime pay. DeJong has agreed to plead guilty to having been paid $14,062.50 for overtime hours that he did not work. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of between six months and 12 months of incarceration.
In 2015 and 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.
McAuliffe is the eighth MSP trooper charged in the ongoing investigation. Seven troopers have pleaded guilty or have agreed to do so. On July 2, 2018, former Trooper Gregory Raftery, 47, of Westwood pleaded guilty; on Sept. 14, 2018, suspended Trooper Kevin Sweeney, 40, of Braintree pleaded guilty; on Oct.11, 2018, suspended Trooper Gary Herman, 45, of Chester, pleaded guilty; on Nov. 28, 2019, former Trooper Paul Cesan pleaded guilty; and suspended Trooper Eric Chin, 46, of Hanover, is scheduled to plead guilty today.
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. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, 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.