January 25, 2017
Owner of New York Bus Companies and County Supervisor Charged With Theft of Government Funds, Mail Fraud, and Bribery
On January 25, 2017, Richard Brega, owner of Brega Transport and Brega D.O.T. Maintenance Corp. (Brega D.O.T.), was indicted by a Federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Previously, on January 19, 2017, William Popkave, the former transportation supervisor for the Rockland County, New York, Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), had been charged by information in the SDNY. Brega and Popkave were charged with honest services mail fraud conspiracy, theft and bribery concerning Federal funds, and obstruction of justice.
In 2013, Rockland County awarded a 5-year, $70 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA)-funded contract to Brega D.O.T. to operate the Transport of Rockland (TOR) and Tappan Zee Express (TZx) bus routes and perform maintenance, including preventive maintenance required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), on county-owned buses. Brega allegedly conspired with Popkave to fraudulently invoice BOCES for preventative maintenance services that were never conducted on Rockland County-owned buses. In exchange for his participation in the scheme, Popkave received from Brega approximately $47,000 worth of free services on his personal vehicles, as well as vehicles belonging to his family and friends. After Brega became aware of the Federal investigation, he allegedly conspired with Popkave to create fake transactions to make it appear that Popkave had paid for the services.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.