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Former MTA administrator charged in iPhone resale scam, district attorney says

Angel Barbosa allegedly purchased phones through the MTA and worked with a friend to hawk them.

A former MTA administrator has been charged with

A former MTA administrator has been charged with using his position to purchase iPhones and resell them, according to the Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance. Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Kwangmoozaa

A former MTA administrator was arraigned Thursday after allegedly using his position to acquire 63 iPhones and then resell them, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.

Angel Barbosa was arraigned on several charges, including grand larceny, for the alleged scheme, which occurred when he was the MTA’s chief procurement officer in 2016. Barbosa purchased more than $58,000 of smartphones without the agency’s knowledge or approval, Vance said. Barbosa then gave the iPhones to a friend, who sold them and split the profit with Barbosa, according to Vance.

“New Yorkers entrust government procurement officers with enormous discretionary spending power, and demand in return that these officials spend taxpayer dollars honestly and fairly,” Vance said in a statement.

Barbosa, who worked for the MTA from 2013 to 2017, was also charged with using false documents to inflate his salary. While applying to the MTA, Barbosa allegedly said he made $30,000 more annually than he actually earned at a previous job at New York University and forged earning statements to back up this claim, Vance said. The district attorney said this helped the 48-year-old New Jersey resident earn a higher starting salary at the MTA.

"Upon learning of the allegations, Mr. Barbosa voluntarily arranged to appear and face the accusations," Crotty Saland PC, the law firm representing Barbosa, said in an emailed statement. "A valued employee of the MTA during his tenure, my client looks forward to reviewing the evidence as we move forward through his case."

The MTA said it had "zero tolerance" for Barbosa's alleged behavior.

"As soon as we became aware of allegations of impropriety directed at Mr. Barbosa, the MTA immediately fired him," said MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein. "We have absolutely zero tolerance for his alleged actions."

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