Two Massachusetts State Troopers Agree to Plead Guilty in Overtime Abuse Investigation
BOSTON – One suspended Massachusetts State Police Trooper and one retired Trooper have agreed to plead guilty today in connection with the ongoing investigation of overtime abuse at the Massachusetts State Police (MSP).
Eric Chin, 46, of Hanover, a suspended Trooper, and Paul Cesan, 50, of Southwick, a retired Trooper, were each charged in an Information with one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. Both have agreed to plead guilty pursuant to a plea agreement, but dates have not yet been scheduled for the hearing.
Chin and Cesan were MSP Troopers 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. In 2016, Cesan earned $163,533, which included approximately $50,866 in overtime pay.
According to the charging documents, Chin and Cesan were paid for overtime shifts that they did not work at all or from which they left early. Each is alleged to have concealed their scheme by submitting fraudulent citations designed to create the appearance that they had worked overtime hours that they had not, and, falsely claimed in MSP paperwork and payroll entries that they had worked the entirety of their overtime shifts.
Chin has agreed to plead guilty to collecting $7,125 for overtime hours that he did not work, and Cesan has agreed to plead guilty to collecting $29,287 for overtime hours that he did not work.
The overtime in question involved the Accident and Injury Reduction Effort program (AIRE) and the “X-Team” initiative, which were 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.
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.
Chin and Cesan are the fourth and fifth Troopers to plead guilty as a result of the ongoing investigation. On Oct. 11, 2018, suspended Trooper Gary Herman, 45, of Chester, pleaded guilty; on July 2, 2018, former Trooper Gregory Raftery, 47, of Westwood pleaded guilty; and on Sept. 14, 2018, suspended Trooper Kevin Sweeney, 40, of Braintree pleaded guilty. On June 27, 2018, former Lieutenant David Wilson, 57, of Charlton was arrested and charged with the same crime, and on July 25, 2018, retired Trooper Daren DeJong, 56, of Uxbridge, was also charged.
Pursuant to the plea agreement with Chin, the government will recommend a sentence of between six and 12 months of incarceration. Pursuant to the plea agreement with Cesan, the government will recommend a sentence of between 10 and 16 months of incarceration. 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, Mark Grady, and Neil Gallagher of Lelling’s Public Corruption Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the court documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.