BOSTON (CBS) — The fifth trooper to be arrested in the growing overtime abuse scandal within the Mass. State Police made an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday.
Daren DeJong, 57, of Uxbridge, was charged with embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. He earned $179,000 in 2016. $63,000 of his salary was in overtime pay, and of that, $14,062 has been attributed to shifts that DeJong left early from or didn’t show up at all for, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
DeJong, who is retired, allegedly “concealed the 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 and never took place.”
“Until they have that indictment we are not going to accept or agree that probable cause exists,” DeJong’s attorney Brad Bailey said outside court Wednesday. “He understands the process he respects the process and he looks forward to clearing his name through the process.”
Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Harold Shaw said, “Instead of enforcing the rules of the road and cracking down on aggressive drivers, he selfishly lined his pockets with paychecks from bogus shifts at the expense of hard-working taxpayers.”
On June 27, three state troopers were arrested and charged with theft of government funds.
Recently retired Lt. David Wilson, 57, was in charge of overtime shifts. Prosecutors say he did not work some or all of his shifts but still submitted altered or fake traffic tickets to make it appear he had. Retired trooper Paul Cesan, 50, and Trooper Gary Herman, 45, who has been suspended, also allegedly turned in fraudulent traffic tickets.
All three pleaded not guilty.
A fourth trooper, Gregory Raftery, 47, of Westwood, pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement from a state agency receiving federal funds. He will be sentenced on September 25.
This is part of an ongoing investigation into Troop E of the Mass. State Police, which patrolled the Mass Pike. Gov. Charlie Baker has since eliminated the troop.