Upper Marlboro Woman Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $300,000 in Social Security Benefits to Which She Was Not Entitled

As released by: Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland – Thursday, August 5, 2021

Upper Marlboro Woman Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $300,000 in Social Security Benefits to Which She Was Not Entitled

Click here for press release from Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland

WMATA-OIG is an independent and objective unit of WMATA that conducts investigations relating to WMATA activities. The office encourages anyone with information about improper or illegal activity to contact the OIG hotline at 1-888-234-2374 or via email at hotline@wmataoig.gov.

Upper Marlboro Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $323,000 in Social Security Benefits to Which She Was Not Entitled | USAO-MD | Department of Justice

As released by: Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland – Thursday, May 6, 2021

Upper Marlboro Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $323,000 in Social Security Benefits to Which She Was Not Entitled

Click here for press release from Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland

WMATA-OIG is an independent and objective unit of WMATA that conducts investigations relating to WMATA activities. The office encourages anyone with information about improper or illegal activity to contact the OIG hotline at 1-888-234-2374 or via email at hotline@wmataoig.gov.

Former WMATA manager sentenced for involvement in fraudulent scheme

For immediate release: September 29, 2020

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

On September 29, 2020, in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), former Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Assistant Superintendent, Kirby Smith, was sentenced for his involvement in a fraudulent scheme involving WMATA. Smith was sentenced to 14 days incarceration, two years supervised release, and to pay restitution to WMATA in the amount of $174,054. Smith had pleaded guilty to violating federal law regarding the supplementation of a government official’s salary.

Smith conspired with former National Football League (NFL) player, Brian Carpenter, to defraud WMATA of over $300,000. In July 2020, Carpenter pleaded guilty in EDVA to orchestrating a conspiracy to defraud WMATA. 

Carpenter was the owner and operator of a Leesburg, Virginia company called the Flintstone Group. The company facilitated the sale and distribution of janitorial products. Some products were specifically labeled and created from Carpenter’s time in the NFL, including an enzyme solvent named “Blitz” and degreaser citrus solvent called “DG-28.”

Carpenter established a relationship with Smith when he was employed at WMATA. During his employment, Smith had a WMATA-issued credit card as part of his role as Assistant Superintendent for WMATA’s maintenance and custodial services division.

Carpenter devised a scheme whereby Smith permitted him to charge his WMATA-issued credit card for supplies that were never in fact delivered. In these instances, Carpenter would retain a substantial portion of the amount charged from the sales for his own personal benefit and Smith received cash payments in exchange for permitting Carpenter to charge his WMATA-issued credit card. To make it appear that he ran a wholly legitimate business and to circumvent WMATA’s internal credit card controls, Carpenter used at least 10 different companies to process transactions from Smith’s WMATA-issued credit card, most of whom were not in the janitorial supply business. Carpenter then provided Smith with fake and fraudulent invoices representing that WMATA paid for and received the products it ordered.

When WMATA’s Office of Inspector General began investigating the case, Carpenter provided investigators with altered invoices to make it appear that he had ordered or substituted all of the products that were charged to WMATA. In total, WMATA spent at least $310,000 on products that were never delivered.

This was a joint investigation involving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, Federal Bureau of Investigation – Washington Field Office, and WMATA Office of Inspector General.

Former NFL Player Pleads Guilty to Fraud Involving WMATA

As released by: Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia – Friday, July 10, 2020

Former NFL Player Pleads Guilty to Fraud Involving WMATA

Click here for press release from Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

WMATA-OIG is an independent and objective unit of WMATA that conducts investigations relating to WMATA activities. The office encourages anyone with information about improper or illegal activity to contact the OIG hotline at 1-888-234-2374 or via email at hotline@wmataoig.gov.

WMATA-OIG announces plea agreement

For immediate release: January 31, 2020

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

Former WMATA employee Kirby F. Smith entered a guilty plea today (January 31, 2020) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria), WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington announced.

Smith pled guilty to one count of 18 USC 209, supplementation of a government official’s salary, in front of the Honorable Judge O’Grady. Under terms of the plea agreement, Smith agreed to pay restitution to WMATA in the amount of $174,054.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 15, 2020.

WMATA-OIG is an independent and objective unit of WMATA that conducts investigations relating to WMATA activities. The office encourages anyone with information about improper or illegal activity to contact the OIG hotline at 888-234-2374 or via email at wmata-oig-hotline@verizon.net.

Former WMATA employee sentenced for a class E felony, Solicitation of a minor for aggravated statutory rape

For immediate release: January 21, 2020

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

Former WMATA employee Christopher A. Riggins, 55, of Laurel, was sentenced today to two years of judicial diversion supervised by the Tennessee Department of Correction for soliciting a minor in 2018, WMATA-OIG Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington announced today. He was ordered to undergo psychosexual evaluation and will be on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry. Riggins was sentenced by Judge Scott Green, in Knox County, Tennessee after pleading guilty to a class E felony, Solicitation of a minor for aggravated statutory rape (T.C.A. 39-13-528).

While on official travel for WMATA, Riggins was arrested on September 14, 2018, after arranging to meet with an individual he believed to be a fifteen-year-old girl for a sexual encounter. The individual with whom Riggins was communicating was, in fact, an undercover Knoxville Police Department investigator. Riggins was taken into custody and charged with felony Solicitation of a minor for aggravated statutory rape.

Immediately following the arrest, WMATA-OIG notified Metro management, at which time Riggins was placed on administrative leave and barred from Metro property. A subsequent internal administrative process resulted in Riggins’ termination.

Following today’s sentencing, Cherrington expressed thanks to the multiple law enforcement agencies involved in investigating the case, including the Knoxville Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Metro Transit Police Department, the Howard County Maryland Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Knoxville and Washington Field Offices, the FBI-DC Metropolitan Police Department Child Exploitation & Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Knox County (TN) Office of the District Attorney. Cherrington also recognized the work by the investigative team within the WMATA-OIG office.WMATA-OIG is an independent and objective unit of WMATA that conducts investigations relating to WMATA activities. The office encourages anyone with information about improper or illegal activity to contact the OIG hotline at 888-234-2374 or via email at wmata-oig-hotline@verizon.net.

WMATA Inspector General announces appointment of Michael H. Mobbs as Counsel to the Inspector General

For immediate release: June 11, 2019

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

Micheal H. Mobbs Counsel to IG

WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today announced the appointment of Michael H. Mobbs to the position of Counsel to the Inspector General.

“The extensive experience that Mr. Mobbs brings from his work in the federal government under multiple administrations, as well as the private sector, will be an asset to Metro,” said Cherrington. “His legal expertise and oversight of homeland security, diplomacy and major reconstruction efforts will help to stamp out fraud, waste, abuse and corruption within Metro.”

Mobbs comes to Metro from the State Department, where he served as General Counsel to the Inspector General. He first joined the federal government after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve in the U.S. Soviet nuclear arms negotiations as the Secretary of Defense’s senior representative at the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and later shaped policy direction for U.S.-Soviet Arms Control.

After returning to private practice, Mobbs was called back to public service following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and served in the administration of President George W. Bush in the Global War on Terrorism. Over the last decade, he has served as General Counsel to the Inspectors General at the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Department of Homeland Security and most recently at the Department of State.Mobbs graduated with honors from Yale University and the University of Chicago School of Law. He has authored several publications on law and national security and speaks fluent Russian. 
He will begin work on August 5, 2019, and will report directly to WMATA’s Inspector General.

WMATA OIG announces sentencing of two former employees in timekeeping scheme

For immediate release: January 25, 2019

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Office of Inspector General today announced sentencing of two former employees who were arrested in December in a timekeeping scheme. Narcisse B. Tsaba, 47, of Brandywine, MD, and Jean-Jacques Lontchi, 53, of Woodbridge, VA, admitted to inappropriately receiving pay from both WMATA and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) by claiming to be at one employer while physically reporting to the other.  

Tsaba pleaded guilty today to one count of first-degree misdemeanor fraud. U. S. District Judge Steven Berk sentenced Tsaba to 100 days incarceration (suspended), 36 months probation and ordered restitution to WMATA in the amount of $3712.21 and to Amtrak in the amount of $3,779.80.

Lontchi pleaded guilty on January 16 to one count of first-degree misdemeanor fraud. U. S. District Judge Michael O’Keefe sentenced Lontchi to 100 days incarceration (suspended), 18 months probation, and ordered restitution to Amtrak.

WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today expressed thanks to the agencies involved in investigating and prosecuting the case, including the Office of Inspector General for Amtrak, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, as well as the investigative staff within WMATA-OIG. 

WMATA OIG announces felony charges in timekeeping scheme

For immediate release: December 4, 2018

The following news release was issued by the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Office of Inspector General (WMATA-OIG) today announced the arrest of Narcisse B. Tsaba, 47, of Brandywine, MD, and Jean-Jacques Lontchi, 53, of Woodbridge, VA, for an alleged fraudulent timekeeping scheme in which they inappropriately received pay from both WMATA and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) by claiming to be at one employer while physically reporting to the other.  

Tsaba, arrested November 29, 2018, and Lontchi, arrested December 4, 2018, were each charged with one count of first-degree felony fraud. The arrests stemmed from a joint investigation with the Office of Inspector General for Amtrak.

WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today expressed thanks to the agencies involved in investigating the case, including the Office of Inspector General for Amtrak, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, as well as the investigative staff within WMATA-OIG. 

WMATA OIG to review Silver Line construction quality issues

For immediate release: September 19, 2018

The following news release is being issued on behalf of the WMATA Office of Inspector General.

WMATA Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today announced that his office is opening a review of Silver Line Phase II construction, including concerns around the quality of concrete used in the project and other construction elements and practices. The scope of the review will also include general contract compliance and a study of potential future costs associated with increased maintenance or remedies that may be necessary as a result of construction quality issues.

The Silver Line Phase II project, currently under construction, will extend Metrorail service from the current terminus at Wiehle-Reston East 11.4 miles to Ashburn, Va. The project includes six new stations, as well as track and structures, power substations, signals, and a new Dulles rail yard to store and maintain trains. 

The line is being constructed by Capital Rail Constructors under a contract with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which has primary oversight of the project. Once construction is completed, the line is expected to be transferred to WMATA (Metro).

“We are initiating this review to ensure that WMATA – and by extension, its funding jurisdictions and the region’s taxpayers – can be confident that they will be receiving a quality project that is safe and reliable for rail operations,” Cherrington said. “In addition, we want to clearly understand what, if any, long-term expense risks are out there as a result of necessary remedies to address these quality issues.”

Last month, a Silver Line contractor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and admitted to falsifying data regarding concrete quality. 
For efficiency, the WMATA OIG review will supersede an independent review announced by Metro in May 2018.