March 30, 2018
Massachusetts Transit Authority President Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice in a Scheme To Hide $2.5 Million in Assets
On March 12, 2018, John George, Jr. pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Boston, Massachusetts, to one count of obstruction of justice. He had been charged with concealing approximately $2.5 million in cash and valuables from the 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. 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, restitution of $688,772 to SRTA, and a forfeiture of $1.38 million. However, a subsequent indictment alleged 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 George had concealed in safe deposit boxes.
George remains in custody and will be sentenced on June 12, 2018.