Former President of a Massachusetts Transit Authority Operator Ordered to Forfeit $1.38 Million
On September 21, 2015, the U.S. District Court in Boston, Massachusetts, ordered John George, of North Dartmouth, to forfeit $1,382,214 to the United States related to an embezzlement scheme. In July 2015, he was sentenced to 70 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $688,772 in restitution to the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA). SRTA serves ten communities in Southeastern Massachusetts.
The forfeiture order and sentencing follows his conviction in April 2015, on charges of conspiracy and embezzlement of federal funds. The charges were related to his role as the former president and owner of the Union Street Bus Company (USBC). USBC served as the operator for SRTA. From 2005 to 2011, SRTA received approximately $42 million in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration.
From late 2007 to October 2011, SRTA paid USBC over $1 million to manage and operate the public bus transit service. These funds were used to pay salaries, benefits, and other expenses. The investigation disclosed that George misused the federal funds by paying several employees to work on his personally owned produce farm. Sometime around 2010, George also inflated his salary by approximately $200,000 (from $75,000 to $275,000) in an attempt to boost his yearly pension payment from SRTA.