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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Former Massachusetts State Trooper Pleads Guilty in Overtime Abuse Investigation

BOSTON – A retired Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant pleaded guilty today in connection with the ongoing investigation of overtime abuse at the Massachusetts State Police (MSP).

Former Lieutenant David Wilson, 58, of Charlton, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for May 2, 2019. In June 2018, Wilson was arrested and charged by criminal complaint.

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.   

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 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. During the plea, Wilson admitted that he had been paid for hours he did not work, and for overtime shifts he did not work at all. Wilson concealed his fraud by submitting false paperwork and citations that were issued outside the overtime shifts that had been altered to create the appearance that they were issued during overtime shifts. 

In 2016, Lt. Wilson earned approximately $259,475, which included approximately $102,062 in overtime pay, a portion of which included pay for AIRE shifts. During that year, the investigation revealed that Lt. Wilson earned approximately $12,450 in overtime pay for 124.5 AIRE overtime hours that he did not work.

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. 

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. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the government has agreed to recommend a sentence of not more than 12 and not less than six months in prison.

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.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated January 29, 2019