March 10, 2017
FTA Suspends New York Bus and Maintenance Companies and Their Owner From Federal Contracting
Effective March 1, 2017, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) suspended Richard Brega, Brega Transport, and Brega D.O.T. Maintenance Corp. (Brega D.O.T.) from Federal contracting, pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.
On January 25, 2017, Richard Brega—owner of Brega Transport and Brega D.O.T., based in Valley Cottage, Rockland County, New York—was indicted by a Federal grand jury on charges of honest services mail fraud conspiracy, theft and bribery concerning Federal funds, and obstruction of justice. In 2013, Rockland County awarded Brega Transport a 5-year, $70 million, FTA-funded contract to operate the Transport of Rockland (TOR) and Tappan Zee Express (TZx) bus routes and perform maintenance on county-owned buses, including Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-required preventive maintenance. A portion of the FTA funding was earmarked for the preventive maintenance services Brega Transport subcontracted to Brega D.O.T.
Brega is alleged to have conspired with William Popkave, former transportation supervisor for the Rockland County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), 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 and those 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 to his vehicles.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI.