Vermont Business Magazine Colonel Matthew T Birmingham, director of the Vermont State Police, today issued the following statement regarding criminal charges (see below) being brought against a former state trooper:
"The charges against former state trooper Giancarlo DiGenova as outlined in court documents represent an extraordinary betrayal of the public’s trust, his oath as a sworn police officer, and his colleagues in law enforcement who serve the state honorably every day.
"I know all Vermonters are angered and disappointed. So am I. Your outrage is appropriate. But I also want you to know that the system worked as well as it can when someone is determined to commit crimes by abusing their power and trust. The former trooper’s actions were uncovered by his peers, who reported him to supervisors. We launched an intensive, lengthy and comprehensive investigation that led to the filing of serious criminal charges. And we have reviewed our policies and procedures, making changes where necessary and increasing the oversight already in place.
"It is important to note that evidence in criminal cases was never compromised. The trooper’s conduct involved personal items that had been seized or surrendered.
"As a result of our review of internal processes, the state police has taken the following steps:
- Reviewed all policies related to property storage and made revisions where necessary to maximize accountability and control.
- Performed a physical assessment of property storage areas at every barracks.
- Conducted a complete audit of temporary personal property storage areas and identified no concerns beyond minor administrative issues.
- Initiated a process of adding individually locked storage containers for property that will have limited access.
- Added surveillance cameras to barracks including more visibility of evidence and property storage areas.
- All property has been and will continue to be controlled by the FileOnQ evidence and property management system that relies on barcodes to track the movement of all items.
"The men and women who honorably wear the Vermont State Police uniform make me proud every day. I know I speak for each of them when I say that we have absolutely no tolerance for those who tarnish our badge, whose actions discredit the work we do, who take advantage of the considerable responsibilities they have as Vermont state troopers. They will be held accountable in a court of law."
CASE#: Multiple (see below)
RANK/TROOPER FULL NAME: Detective Sgt. Jesse Robson, Detective Sgt. Amber Keener, Detective Trooper Matthew Chin, Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement and Safety Division Lt. Daniel Merchand
STATION: Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations - Headquarters
DATE/TIME: June 2021 to November 2022
INCIDENT LOCATION: Various locations in Chittenden and Washington counties
- Case No. 22B1007703:
- Grand larceny
- Neglect of duty
- False information to police
- Unprofessional conduct
- Case No. 23A3000233:
- Petit larceny
- Sale of stolen property
- Neglect of duty
- Case No. 23A3000813:
- Petit larceny
- Fraud or deceit
- Neglect of duty
- Case No. 23MV000388:
- False swearing
- Neglect of duty
- Applications to be under oath
ACCUSED: Giancarlo DiGenova
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Essex, VT
SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:
Following an investigation that began in December, the Vermont State Police on Monday, March 20, 2023, cited a former state trooper on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges related to the theft of items in November from a personal property storage room at the Williston Barracks. In addition, the state police investigation into the conduct of Giancarlo DiGenova, 44, of Essex uncovered additional instances of stealing personal property from storage areas, using his position as a state trooper to gain access to these secure rooms.
DiGenova, who was most recently assigned as a road trooper at the Williston Barracks, was placed on paid relief-from-duty status on Dec. 19, 2022. The suspension occurred following the discovery that a bag containing valuables belonging to a person who had been taken into custody in late November could no longer be accounted for in the personal property storage room, and that it had gone missing on a day when DiGenova had accessed the room multiple times. The bag contained more than $40,000 worth of items, including diamond stud earrings, a Rolex watch, a designer brand wallet and keychain, and Apple AirPods wireless headphones. A fellow trooper, aware of the missing property, subsequently reported to supervisors that DiGenova had showed him a Rolex that DiGenova claimed to have purchased on eBay. Through investigation, the Vermont State Police recovered the Rolex, valued at about $14,000, from the home of a relative of DiGenova in Massachusetts. The rest of the property remains missing. Charges in this case (22B1007703) are grand larceny, neglect of duty, false information to police, and unprofessional conduct.
During the investigation, state police learned of additional instances of missing property from storage areas that DiGenova had accessed. Additional detectives were assigned to the case to pursue these instances. According to court paperwork supporting the criminal charges, DiGenova took a bag containing seized cellphones in June 2021 from a secure personal property storage area at the Berlin Barracks, and subsequently attempted to sell two of the devices at an automated kiosk at the University Mall in South Burlington. DiGenova successfully completed one transaction. Evidence shows that he falsely marked the cellphones as “destroyed” in the state police’s property and evidence inventory tracking system. Charges in this case (23A3000233) are petit larceny, sale of stolen property, and neglect of duty. As elements of this case occurred in both Chittenden and Washington counties, prosecutions of separate offenses will take place in both jurisdictions.
In another instance uncovered by VSP, detectives found that during a response by DiGenova to a May 2022 call of a disturbance involving a juvenile at a private residence in Bolton, he took possession of several bottles of medication for ADHD prescribed to the juvenile and is believed to have stolen several of the pills. Charges in this case (23A3000813) are petit larceny, fraud or deceit, and neglect of duty.
Additionally, during the investigation, law enforcement reviewed DiGenova’s state email account and discovered that he was performing checks of vehicle identification numbers (VINs) on behalf of a household member’s car registration business. Although these VIN verification checks are required to be performed by personally inspecting the vehicle, DiGenova attested to completing two physical checks on out-of-state vehicles without ever seeing the vehicles involved. This case was investigated by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement and Safety Division. Charges in this case (23MV000388) are two counts each of false swearing, neglect of duty, and applications to be under oath.
DiGenova was a trooper from 2009 until he resigned Feb. 7, 2023. His assignments included the Williston, Middlesex and Bradford barracks, and the Narcotics Investigation Unit.
Monday morning, March 20, 2023, DiGenova turned himself in at the Royalton Barracks for processing on the multiple charges. He was taken into custody, fingerprinted, photographed, and released with citations to appear in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Burlington at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 23, and in Barre at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 6.
The Vermont State Police worked closely throughout this investigation with VSP’s Technology Investigation Unit and the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office, along with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office and the DMV Enforcement and Safety Division. The Boston Police Department also provided assistance.
Further information regarding this investigation is contained in the affidavits of probable cause, which will be filed with the court and made public following DiGenova’s arraignment hearings. Members of the media should call the court clerks’ offices to confirm details of the proceedings.
WATERBURY, Vermont (Monday, March 20, 2023) — Vermont State Police