By Wayne D. Garris Jr., J.D.
During the year 2018, the five defendants reporting working hundreds of hours of overtime despite staying at home, going to concerts, or taking vacations.
On December 3, 2020, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced that it has charged five current and former Metropolitan Transit Authority employees with fraudulently claiming to have worked hundreds of hours of overtime. The defendants were all senior level employees for the Long Island Railroad and New York City Transit.
“Physically impossible.” According to DOJ, the defendants claimed to have worked “extraordinary, almost physically impossible” amounts of overtime. Further, many of these employees were at home, or in one case, on vacation when they claimed to have been working. One of the most egregious overtime claims came from an employee who received overtime compensation equivalent to working 10 additional hours per day, every day, during the calendar year 2018.
Highest paid employees. The fraudulent overtime claims made the defendants some of the highest paid employees at MTA during 2018. One of the defendants was MTA’s highest earner in 2018 due to receiving $344,000 in overtime wages in addition to his base salary of $117,000. The four remaining defendants were paid over $240,000 in overtime wages, placing each of them among MTA’s top 12 highest paid employees.
“Today we’ve arrested five individuals, all senior MTA employees, for their role in an incredibly blatant overtime fraud scheme,” said FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney in a press release. “This type of double-dealing directly contributes to rising MTA fares for the average hardworking commuter. Today these individuals learned the end of this line is the federal courthouse here in Lower Manhattan.”
DOJ noted that the allegations contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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