Trooper retired in wake of Troop E scandal, was collecting $72,205 pension
WCVB 5 Boston
BOSTON -- Retired Massachusetts State Trooper Gregory Raftery has pleaded guilty in connection with the ongoing federal investigation into an overtime scandal.
Raftery, 47, of Westwood, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of embezzling funds from a state agency receiving federal funds, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling announced.
In his guilty plea, Raftery acknowledged being paid over $24,000 in 2015 and over $30,000 in 2016 for overtime hours that he did not work, Lelling said. Raftery took home a total of $219,670 in 2016.
State records show Raftery is collecting a pension of $72,205 per year and received a $25,393 buyout for unused vacation and personal time after his retirement. The state Retirement Board has the authority to take away his pension.
WCVB previously reported that Raftery was being eyed as one of the biggest overtime offenders. He was a member of the Massachusetts State Police for 21 years before he retired in the wake of the Troop E scandal.
"At the plea hearing, Raftery admitted that in 2015 and 2016, he was not present and did not work for hundreds of hours of overtime shifts for which he had been paid by the Massachusetts State Police," Lelling's office wrote in an announcement. "Raftery admitted that he frequently left overtime shifts early, and, on occasion, did not work overtime shifts at all. To hide this conduct, Raftery submitted bogus motor vehicle citations that were never issued to operators, and then claimed on the citations and internal MSP paperwork that they had been written during overtime shifts that, in reality, Raftery did not work."
The crime carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine. Raferty's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25.
"This Department played a lead role in uncovering the overtime abuse that led to this conviction, and will continue to hold accountable any member who violates our Code of Conduct," Col. Kerry Gilpin said in a written statement. "The State Police will inform the State Retirement Board of this conviction, continue auditing overtime shifts, and continue to provide audit results to state and federal prosecutors for their review. Anyone within our ranks who breaks the law does not represent who we are and the values we hold dear. Rest assured that no one is more disheartened by this illegal conduct than am I and the overwhelming majority of Troopers who exhibit integrity and bravery every day."
Last week, two retired members of the department and one suspended trooper were arrested and charged by Lelling's office in connection with similar alleged behavior. All three pleaded not guilty during their first appearances in federal court in Boston.
Lelling explained that investigators cross-referenced various state police databases and a record of citations logged with the Registry of Motor Vehicles to build a case against the troopers. All are accused of submitting altered or fake traffic citations to justify their overtime pay.
"All of this led to subset of state troopers who were paid for overtime shifts they did not work, a fraud that included forging or altering traffic citations to create the appearance that a trooper had, in fact, worked," Lelling said.
Lelling said the citations were sometimes called "ghost tickets."
Troop E, which patrolled the Massachusetts Turnpike, was dissolved in the wake of the scandal.