A Massachusetts state trooper is pleading guilty to pocketing $11,000 in overtime pay for hours that he didn't actually work.
NBC Boston reports that Kevin Sweeney, 40, of the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) found a way to game the system in order to receive extra money for shifts that he either left early or did not work at all. As United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling told WCVB, "Sweeney concealed his fraud by submitting fraudulent citations designed to create the appearance that he had worked overtime hours that he had not, and falsely claimed in MSP paperwork and payroll entries that he had worked the entirety of his overtime shifts."
Of the $249,407 Sweeny received in 2015, overtime pay accounted for $111,808 of it. Of the $218,512 he earned in 2016, overtime pay made up $95,895.
Sweeney entered a guilty plea to one count of embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds and to one count of wire fraud. According to MassLive, he is the sixth Massachusetts state trooper to be charged with such crimes and the second to plead guilty. The others charged include Lieutenant David Wilson, 57, Trooper Gary Herman, 45, former Trooper Paul Cesan, 50, retired Trooper Daren DeJong, 56, and Trooper Gregory Raftery, 47 (Raftery entered a guilty plea). All of the troopers were charged with the same crimes as Sweeney.
"Today's announced plea agreement is a direct result of the department's work to restore transparency and ensure accountability," MSP wrote in a statement. "Under the leadership of Colonel Gilpin, the State Police will continue to audit earnings from discretionary overtime and, as we did in the case resolved today, provide results to federal and state prosecutors."
A state police audit led to the discovery of the misconduct, reports Boston 25 News. The activities of over 40 MSP members are now under scrutiny.