Trooper Accused of Stealing $12,000 in Holiday Pay After Claiming to Be Working While on Cruise to Bermuda

A former police lieutenant is accused of stealing almost $12,000 in a long-running scheme where he allegedly claimed holiday pay he had not earned, including an instance where he said he had been working when he was actually on a cruise to Bermuda.

David Andrade pleaded not guilty to charges including larceny over $1,200 and a public employee standards of conduct violation in Bristol County Superior Court in Massachusetts, the Boston Herald reported. He was released on his own recognizance after the hearing on Friday.

The 47-year-old, of Westport, Massachusetts, had been a lieutenant with the Massachusetts State Police since 2016 but retired in August last year, according to the newspaper.

He was the station commander of Troop D at the Dartmouth Barracks in Massachusetts when he allegedly claimed $11,538 in holiday pay between August 2018 and August 2019 he had not accrued.

The Herald reported Andrade had recently started his role at Dartmouth and claimed he had worked on August 21, in 2018 but investigators determined that wasn't the case because he was on vacation in Bermuda.

"Investigation revealed that the Defendant was actually in the middle of a cruise to Bermuda and could not have been at work," according to the court documents.

CBS Boston reported that Andrade submitted claims to be paid for 22 holiday compensatory days over the year-long period that he had not earned.

He covered his tracks by forging entries on attendance calendars, which he was in charge of, to make it look like he had worked the days when he had actually taken them off, according to prosecutors.

The Herald reported that Andrade ramped up the number of fake claims he was submitting shortly before he retired on August 14 last year. He received the $11,538 payment shortly after retiring.

The Massachusetts State Police and an attorney for Andrade have been contacted for comment.

Following Andrade's indictment last month, Colonel Christopher Mason said the allegations against him were "unacceptable," The Boston Globe reported.

"It is unfortunate and unacceptable that these allegations exist, and our investigation indicates that this defendant's alleged scheme appears to be unique to him," Mason said, according to the Herald.

"This should serve as a clear signal to those we serve that we will not tolerate criminal activity and will pursue criminal charges when appropriate."

Massachusetts State Police said last month that Andrade's case had sparked an internal audit of holiday-related pay entries of other supervisors and that another member from a different troop is now under internal investigation.

The Globe reported that Andrade, who started working at the agency in 1996, was paid $192,348 in 2018, including $16,594 for overtime. He is now collecting an annual pension of $87,126.

The news comes after dozens of troopers and retirees were implicated in an overtime fraud scandal at the agency that led to the disbandment of Troop E, which was responsible for traffic enforcement along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Mass State Police
Stock photo. A retired Massachusetts police lieutenant is accused of stealing almost $12,000 in holiday pay he hadn't earned. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images