In criminal complaints unsealed on Thursday, federal prosecutors said that a group of five Long Island Rail Road and NYC Transit employees claimed to work hundreds of hours of overtime while they were engaged in other activities, including a bowling league.
“These defendants, senior LIRR and New York City Transit employees, allegedly made themselves some of the highest-paid employees at the entire MTA by claiming extraordinary, almost physically impossible, amounts of overtime,” Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in the announcement of the charges. “As alleged, those almost impossible claims were fueled by brazen, repeated fraud.”
“The alleged conduct by these MTA employees is an egregious betrayal of public trust,” MTA spokesman Tim Minton said in a statement.
Among the accused is Thomas Caputo, who prosecutors said was paid approximately $461,000 in 2018—making him the MTA’s highest paid employee that year—with a base salary of approximately $117,000. Prosecutors said that Caputo was an active member of a bowling league that year, despite his salary meaning that he would have had to work an average of ten hours of overtime on every day of the year. Records kept by a Suffolk County bowling alley showed that on a night in October 2018, games began while Caputo was scheduled to be in the middle of his shift, and prosecutors said that his phone records showed that he made calls near his home in the area at that time. (The bowling alley’s records also allegedly show that Caputo averaged a score of 196 over three games.)
Caputo, along with the four other employees, were each charged with a count of fraud that has a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
This article has been updated.
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