Retired State Trooper Avoids Prison In Overtime Scandal

BOSTON, Mass. (AP) —The last of eight Massachusetts State Police troopers to face federal charges in the department's overtime abuse scandal has been sentenced to two years of probation, the first six months of which must be spent in home confinement, federal prosecutors said.

Daren DeJong, 60, of Uxbridge, was also ordered Thursday in U.S. District Court to pay back more than $14,000 to the state and was fined $5,500.

Prosecutors have said previously that DeJong, who is now retired, was paid for overtime shifts that he ended early or didn’t show up for in 2016. He was formerly assigned to Troop E, which was responsible for enforcing traffic regulations along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

DeJong concealed the fraud by submitting citations that were issued outside the overtime shift, altered the citations to create the appearance that citations were issued during the overtime shift, or submitted citations that were never issued and never took place, prosecutors said in a statement.

An internal investigation into Troop E, which has since been disbanded, implicated 46 current and retired troopers, but not all of them faced criminal charges. Some others were fired or disciplined.

DeJong was charged in July 2018 and pleaded guilty in January 2019 to embezzlement from an agency receiving federal funds. DeJong apologized during one court appearance, saying he was “consumed with guilt, shame, depression and anxiety."

The scandal led to reforms within the department.

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