U.S. Attorney: Arrested Troopers Wrote “Ghost Tickets,” Stole Thousands of Dollars

Three allegedly corrupt troopers were taken into custody today.

A State Police vehicle

Image via Massachusetts State Police

The three Massachusetts State Police troopers arrested at their homes today for allegedly claiming unearned overtime bilked taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars and wrote “ghost tickets” to cover their tracks, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said Wednesday.

The trio, David Wilson, of Charlton, Paul E. Cesan, of Southwick, and Gary Herman, of Chester, were taken into custody after a probe into fraud and mismanagement in the department, particularly in Troop E, the division that patrolled the Mass Pike. Troop E was disbanded earlier this year in light of the scandal.

In a news conference, Lelling said investigators found evidence the troopers signed up for lucrative overtime shifts but did not work them. To make it look like they had been patrolling the highway, he alleges, they wrote so-called “ghost tickets,” which were either altered to look like they were written at a time other than when they were actually written, or that were fabricated. Investigators cross-checked tickets filed in the state police database with those listed with the RMV.

His office has alleged that Wilson was paid $12,450 improperly; Herman was paid $12,468 improperly, and Cesan was paid $29,000 improperly. Wilson and Cesan retired earlier this year. Cesan had been suspended.

In federal court, they were reportedly released and ordered to hand over their passports and not contact other former members of Troop E.

There may be more arrests to come, Lelling said. “Let me be clear that today’s charges are the beginning, not the end of this federal investigation,” he said.

In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker’s office said, “The Baker-Polito Administration and Colonel Gilpin are implementing a series of policies to reform the State Police, and Governor Baker believes any member of the department who is found to have stolen public funds must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”