Andres Townes: Charged with producing millions worth of illegal Charlie Cards
An employee for an independent MBTA subcontractor was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly selling millions of dollars worth of unauthorized T passes.
Since 2007, Andres Townes, 27, of Revere, produced thousands of Charlie Card passes worth just under $5 million and sold most them online through Craigslist for a discount, authorities said.
“He is charged with what is believed to be the largest scheme of illegally produced [T] passes,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Townes worked for Cubic of Beverly, which fulfilled the online and phone orders for the majority of T monthly passes. As a fulfillment supervisor there, Townes had access to the secure room that houses the machines to produce the cards.
Authorities showed one of the illegal cards he allegedly produced. Its value was $235, but he sold it online for $200, authorities said.
Because at least hundreds of T riders bought their passes this way, the agency lost potentially millions in revenue.
T GM Rich Davey said T supervisors are now monitoring the production at Cubic until the contract ends. Fare terminals will also be audited.
“I think what escaped us here was the volume. Even a couple of hundred tickets a month would be difficult to detect,” Davey said.
Davey said he sent a letter to the company and expressed “outrage” over the incident. He added that the T believes it can recoup the lost revenue.
The fraudulently produced passes have been deactivated and authorities said they do not believe anyone else is involved.
The investigation, however, is ongoing and the scope is still being determined.
Davey and Coakley issued a warning to riders that the T does not sell discounted passes.
“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is,” Davey said.