The United States Attorney for Massachusetts has confirmed the unsettling fact that three different police officers within the Massachusetts State Police Department have been arrested on charges of fraud.
The individuals are accused of stealing government funds by being paid for shifts that they weren’t actually working. Even worse, the hours being paid out were for overtime shifts that never happened. While three main suspects have been arrested and are facing charges, the widespread scam has resulted in over 35 suspensions or forced retirements from the police force. The main suspects have been identified as Trooper Paul Cesan, Lt. David Wilson and Trooper Gary Herman.
Lt. Wilson has already retired from the police department, but internal investigations revealed he had stolen at least $12,500 in fraudulent overtime pay throughout his work in 2016. Trooper Cesan is accused of fraudulently collecting an overwhelming $29,000, and Trooper Herman allegedly received $12,468.
The group of officers, nicknamed Troop E, was responsible for patrolling the Massachusetts Turnpike. After investigating reports of fraudulent pay, authorities discovered that other police officers had contributed to fraud by altering traffic citations or forging tickets to make it appear as if the officer receiving pay was actually on duty. These completely fabricated traffic citations were allegedly called ‘ghost tickets’ within the department. The entire group of police officers has since been disbanded. Any officer not implicated in the scandal have been transferred to other departments, and the reformed group of police have replaced Troop E with Troop H.