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Prosecutors: SEPTA managers took bribes in years-long scheme

August 12, 2021 GMT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven former maintenance managers with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and two outside vendors defrauded the agency out of more than $870,000 through a years-long scheme, according to federal prosecutors.

The charges were made public Wednesday. The managers received cash bribes and personal goods including hunting supplies, ATV equipment, rare gold coins and a whippet puppy in exchange for facilitating the scheme, which ran from 2013 to 2019, according to prosecutors.

According to court filings, a now-retired manager initially approached the two vendors and offered to steer legitimate SEPTA business to them in return for monthly bribes of $1,000 to $2,000 and other occasional gifts. When the manager retired in June 2015, he recruited his successor into the scheme, and other SEPTA officials joined the scheme in the following years, prosecutors said.

The nine defendants face various charges, such as theft and wire fraud and could face several years in prison if convicted. They also would likely have to forfeit any pension benefits they have earned.