A trio of accused con artists were charged Wednesday with submitting 740 different fake car service receipts to the MTA’s Access-A-Ride, a program for those with disabilities.
The group is also accused of using the names of five visually impared people to get more money. Of those, four were members of the New York Knights GoalBall team, a sports team for the visually-impared and blind.
“Many disabled people depend on the Access-A-Ride program for transportation,” Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said in a statement. “These defendants allegedly exploited their own disability and that of some teammates to steal from the program. Their alleged acts are egregious and they will now be held accountable.”
The group allegedly tried to steal about $65,000 by submitting the receipts between December 2011 and August 2013, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. Each fake trip, split among eight car service companies, cost between $30 and $80, and included every borough.
Bronx resident Lamar Brown, 34, and Manhattan resident Eric Randolph, 43, were both charged with several offenses, including second-degree grand larceny, falsifying business documents and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.
Brooklyn resident Ibraheem Shahadat, 23, was also charged with several offenses, including third-degree grand larceny. An attorney for Shahadat declined to comment.
Randolph and Shahadat were released without bail on April 9. An attorney for Randolph could not be reached for comment.
Brown was awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Wednesday evening and could not be reached for comment.