Philadelphia Transit-Contract

A train moves along the Market-Frankford Line in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The FBI and SEPTA’s inspector general are investigating a multi-year embezzlement scheme that may have cost the agency big bucks, PlanPhilly has learned.

Fran Kelly, SEPTA’s assistant general manager, said the agency “cannot confirm or deny that there’s any ongoing investigation.”

But sources said that FBI agents had visited the agency’s Woodland Avenue building earlier this month. And other sources described the nature of the investigation to PlanPhilly.

The scheme allegedly involved a string of the transit agency’s facility managers who colluded with outside vendors to fabricate fraudulent supply and repair invoices. The invoices were paid, using SEPTA office credit cards, but the requested services or merchandise were never fulfilled.

Managers and vendors are said to have pocketed the leftover proceeds. In other instances, unneeded tools or equipment were ordered and then allegedly stolen by the involved parties.

Douglas Edwards, a secretary-treasurer with the Teamsters Local 500, which represents certain SEPTA employees, said he had heard rumors about the investigation. He emphasized that federal agents haven’t contacted any Local 500 members.

“But there are a lot of rumors if there isn’t anything going on,” he said.

Joe Coccio, secretary-treasurer with the Transit Workers Union Local 234, which represents most of SEPTA’s drivers and other blue-collar employees, also said he had heard “rumors” of the investigation. He similarly said the inquest did not involve any Local 234 members.

“Since none of the people involved or implicated are our members, at this time we don’t have any more information,” Coccio said.

It is not immediately clear how much money or equipment the alleged embezzlement could cost the agency, which has a $1.49 billion operating budget and a $675 million capital budget.

It is also unclear when the alleged racket began — but WHYY obtained a list of several managers who are said to be under investigation that includes both current staffers and retired employees.

A spokesperson for the FBI field office in Philadelphia said the FBI could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation, per department policy.

This article originally appeared on PlanPhilly.com, which is a project of WHYY.

(2) comments

bowona

Can you get them to investigate 234 Union



And Septa. Payoffs bribes



Lawers taking money from employees union taking money that dont belong to union.



Fixing the vote. Having someone fight a person running for office the being disqualified because of the fight. Only to be



Found not guilty after election. So much bullshit to much .. please if you look at all the money you will see. Following the money.



We got 4,000. Union reps got 20,000 who got ripped. We did


transport1966

How about investigate why is Septa is the most expensive fare in rhe EAST COAST maybe someone is pocketing some of that money....LET THAT SINK IN


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