A retired Massachusetts state trooper pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to one count of embezzlement in connection with the ongoing State Police overtime scandal, federal prosecutors said.
Daren DeJong, 57, of Uxbridge, was charged with collecting $14,000 for filing bogus overtime claims, according to court documents. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 1, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
When DeJong previously agreed to change his plea to guilty, prosecutors indicated they would support a six- to 12-month prison sentence.
The embezzlement charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Convicted troopers may also lose their pensions.
“My client accepted responsibility in court today,” DeJong’s lawyer, Brad Bailey, said in an interview. “We have a sentencing date ... at which time I’ll have much more to say about this.”
DeJong worked in law enforcement for the State Police for 26 years, Bailey said.
DeJong retired in March after the department said it found evidence that he and other troopers had clocked in for hours they never worked and wrote phony traffic citations to make it appear they had.
Since the State Police overtime scandal came to light last spring, the department has taken steps to implement a series of reforms, including installing GPS tracking devices in cruisers.