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MTA ‘Overtime King’ Thomas Caputo scammed LIRR mega-projects

MTA “Overtime King” Thomas Caputo and four charged co-conspirators raked in “improbable” amounts of OT pay by using union seniority to land jobs on mega-projects where they could get away with sleeping or playing hooky out of view of Long Island Rail Road management, federal prosecutors said.

Caputo and company signed up for shifts that called for more workers than necessary, then developed an “informal rotation” where one person would leave and the rest of the group would cover for him, the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office said in court filings ahead of the sentencing of conspirator John Nugent this Thursday.

“For a number of these shifts, there were circumstances in which the employees could sleep while on the job site without halting construction work, perhaps partially accounting for the almost physically impossible number of hours claimed by the conspirators,” prosecutors said.

The jobs were mostly on two projects, the filings said — a private construction project at Hudson Yards in Manhattan that required LIRR supervision, and Queens track work connected to the MTA’s disastrously delayed $11 billion East Side Access project.

Joseph Balestra has pleaded guilty to conspiracy. He faces up to 16 months in jail.
Robert Mecea for NY Post

Both projects “had several positions where more LIRR employees were assigned than were necessary to allow the construction to progress,” prosecutors said.

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