April 13, 2017
Massachusetts Transit Authority President Charged With Obstruction in a Scheme To Hide $2.5 Million in Assets
On April 13, 2017, John George, Jr., was charged with obstruction of justice in U.S. District Court, Boston, Massachusetts. The indictment alleges that he concealed approximately $2.5 million in cash and valuables from the U.S. District Court following his 2015 conviction and sentencing related to an embezzlement scheme at a transit agency.
In April 2015, a Federal jury convicted George of conspiracy and embezzlement of Federal funds related to his role as the former president and owner of the Union Street Bus Company (USBC). USBC served as the operator for the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA), which serves 10 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts and receives millions in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). From 2007 to 2011, SRTA paid USBC over $1 million to manage and operate the public bus transit service, including funds for salaries, benefits, and other expenses. The investigation disclosed that George misused Federal funds by paying several employees to work on his personally owned produce farm during regular working hours. Around 2010, George also inflated his salary from $75,000 to $275,000 in an attempt to boost his yearly SRTA pension payment.
In July 2015, George was sentenced to 70 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $688,772 to SRTA and forfeit $1.38 million. However, this recent indictment alleges that he falsely reported to the court that he only possessed approximately $28,000 in cash. In late 2015 and early 2016, Federal authorities recovered more than $2.5 million in cash, as well as Rolex watches and jewelry that George had concealed in safe deposit boxes.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.