Two more state troopers are federally charged in yet another overtime scandal — separate from the one that besieged state police over the past few years, but one that was going on at the same time, the feds say.
Lt. Daniel J. Griffin, 57, of Belmont, and former Sgt. William W. Robertson, 58, of Westboro, were both arrested Friday and charged in U.S. District Court in Boston on Friday, accused of being involved in a conspiracy to commit federal programs embezzlement and wire fraud in connection with an overtime scheme dating back to 2015.
Griffin was also charged with filing false tax returns and wire fraud related to his alleged scheme to defraud a private school, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office said.
They and other troopers in the Traffic Programs section “conspired to embezzle thousands of dollars in federally funded overtime by regularly arriving late to, and leaving early from, overtime shifts funded by grants intended to improve traffic safety,” Lelling’s office said.
According to the indictment, from 2015 through 2018, the troopers in the section at State Police Headquarters in Framingham conspired to embezzle thousands of dollars in federally funded overtime by regularly arriving late to, and leaving early from, overtime shifts funded by grants intended to improve traffic safety. During the course of the conspiracy, Griffin made and approved false entries on police forms and other documentation to conceal and perpetuate the fraud, Lelling said.
Around the same time, other troopers, primarily in the now-defunct Troop E, had their own OT scams going; when those came to light in 2017 and 2018 — resulting in federal charges for troopers at the time — Griffin, Robertson and their co-conspirators took steps to avoid detection by shredding and burning records and forms, Lelling said. It is alleged that after an internal inquiry regarding missing forms, Griffin submitted a memo to his superiors that was designed to mislead them by claiming that missing forms were “inadvertently discarded or misplaced” during office moves.
“Today’s charges involve losses for the taxpayers, and also for the Massachusetts State Police, a premier law enforcement institution that must do a better job self-policing and eliminating this kind of misconduct,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling. “Everyone must be treated equally under the law, and we will keep doing these cases until this kind of abuse stops — abuse that is deeply unfair to the vast majority of law enforcement officers who are doing their job the right way, already under difficult circumstances.”
Griffin is also accused of working on his private security business during work hours. Further, the feds say he hid $700,000 in revenue from that side business from them — and from the private school two of his kids went to, as the trooper misstated his income in order to receive more than $175,000 in financial aid.