Cleveland, OH Area Transit Officials Indicted for Fraud
On January 28, 2016, Pamela G. Mason, Linda Williams, and Trina Thompson, managers in the paratransit division of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, were indicted on multiple fraud charges by the Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Cleveland, OH. Mason was indicted for theft in office, tampering with records and identity fraud. Williams was indicted for theft and identity fraud. Thompson was indicted for theft in office. Paratransit service is a federally subsidized program that provides public transportation to the elderly and disabled.
Evidence gathered by investigators shows that, starting in 2008, Mason, Williams, and Thompson extensively abused the service for personal use and for use by family members, including trips to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, trips to attend various professional sporting events in Cleveland, political events, personal errands, and transportation to and from work and school. The value of services stolen is estimated at over $8,000.
Mason is accused of arranging for the bulk of the fraudulent rides, and evidence shows that she did so by dispatching rides as “unknown” riders or fraudulently setting up the rides under the name of a deceased veteran. The veteran had used the paratransit service before his death and had been cared for by Williams. Mason was a personal friend of Williams, and evidence shows that Williams took many of the paratransit rides under the name of the deceased veteran.
This investigation is being jointly worked with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office and the FBI office in Cleveland.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.