.

LIRR Workers Accused of Stealing Copper [VIDEO]

More than $250K worth of wire stolen since 2010 in organized scheme, according to Nassau County district attorney.

An organized ring of 15 Long Island Rail Road employees and two others were indicted Friday after conspiring to steal more than $250,000 worth of copper wire belonging to the LIRR, according to Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

The men were charged with various crimes, including: conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and theft of services.

The stolen wire, lifted from scrap yards in Nassau, Brooklyn, Queens and Suffolk between Jan. 1, 2010 and Jan. 10, 2013, was needed for signal communications and electrical transmission, according to the investigation.

Using LIRR trucks to transport the wire to their own personal vehicles the defendants sold the stolen material at Two Brother’s Scrap Metal in Farmingdale for a total of $253,694, according to Rice.

"It is a sad day for the Long Island Rail Road," said LIRR President Helena Williams in Mineola for a press conference Friday. "When we have employees stealing from the company, we have employees that are violating public trust it is a very, very sad day for our company."

The MTA became aware of possible wrong-doing by certain employees last year and will move to terminate the pensions of all convicted LIRR employees involved in the case, according to Williams, who said the level of trust and honesty at the LIRR has been broken.

"It is now proved to me that I cannot have that level of trust and honesty," said Williams.

Mass Transit Authority Inspector General Barry L. Kluger said his office has begun to investigate the apparent lack of effective LIRR supervision surrounding the case as well as evident vulnerabilities in the LIRR’s inventory controls. 

Two assistant LIRR foremen were among the 15 employees charged, according to Kluger.

The employees were part of Work Gangs 30, 31, and 33 in the railroads communications department where they maintain railroad yard signal systems and the two non-employees charged were acquaintances of work gang members. 

The defendants used the drivers license of a non-employee for the majority of sales to the scrap yard, and divided proceeds among others on their work gang, according to Rice.

Rice said it was outrageous that the thefts were committed in the wake of catastrophic damage to the LIRR from Superstorm Sandy. 

"These employees stole from everyone who uses the MTA when they pocketed the proceeds for their own enrichment," said Rice. "It is outrageous that these pubic employees neglected their jobs, and stole from us all especially during this critical period of recovery for our region." 

Williams said the LIRR has stepped up video surveillance of yards and shops where scrap metal is stored and more secure storage bins across property.

The 17 defendants were arraigned Friday by Nassau District Court Judge Angelo Delligatti.

Charged in the indictment are:

  • Craig Borsetti, 31, of Mastic. Borsetti is charged with two counts each of conspiracy in the fourth and fifth Degrees. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Afiba Moore, 26, of Brooklyn. Moore is charged with two counts each of conspiracy in the fourth and fifth degress, two counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth Degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Jose Almonte, 31, of Babylon. Almonte is charged with two counts each of conspiracy in the fourth and fifth degrees. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Eric Axelson, 51, of East Patchogue. Axelson is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, and criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Andrew Burke, 48, of Sayville. Burke is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree and six counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Christopher Callesano, 31, of Bethpage. Callesano is charged with two counts each of conspiracy in the fourth and fifth degrees, grand larceny in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, and theft of services. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Michael Campbell, 33, of Bethpage. Campbell is charged with six counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree and theft of services. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted.
  • Robert Toomey, 50, of Hicksville. Toomey is charged with four counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted.
  • Michael Carsten, 26, of Amityville. Carsten is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted.
  • Russell Genoino, 35, of Farmingville. Genoino is charged with four counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, two counts of Conspiracy in the fifth degree, four counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, and theft of services. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Kevin Graham, 29, of West Islip. Graham is charged with four counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, two counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree, and four counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Panikos Pafitis, 33, of Mastic. Pafitis is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted.
  • Daniel Petroro, 26, of Islip. Petroro is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree and four counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Daniel Rose, 35, of Rosedale. Rose is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree and four counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Daniel Santander, 33, of Elmont. Santander is charged with two counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted
  • Leroy Simmonds, 50, of Bridgeport, Conn. Simmonds is charged with two counts each of conspiracy in the fourth and fifth degrees and theft of services. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
  • Adisa Springle, 30, of Brooklyn. Springle is charged with two counts of criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, four counts of criminal possession stolen property in the fourth degree, two counts of conspiracy in the fourth degree, four counts of conspiracy in the fifth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, and theft of services. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Simba January 27, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Without question this is another reason for a serious investigation into the MTA. It is a prime example of why long island will bring down New York State. Let's face it Long Island is fading, the economy on LI is built on taxes not growth, Show me where we are growing on LI. Both Nassau and Suffolk did a horrible job in attracting businesses to relocate from NYC to LI. So where are we heading, Poverty Nation. They don't have a choice but to over tax us, there is too much corruption bleeding our tax dollars, and there is absolutely Zero growth. Zero. Has LIPA made any improvements since Sandy ? nope, they just did patch work. Has Mangano attracted any business to create jobs in Nassau, Zero. Have crime stats gone done, No sir. Is the MTA keeping costs down, Nah, are they ripping you and me off, Oh Yeah !!! Will Unions renegotiate contracts to help keep your taxes down, HAHA not happening.
michael mirra January 27, 2013 at 09:44 PM
I live in Florida. The patches here are much better. There seems to be more censorship in the long island patches. Especially Plainview. That's a shame when the south is more open minded than a L.I. town like Plainview. We have very controversial topics & strong comments & no one censures us on the Florida west coast patches. Hey Joe, are you going to cesure this too?
Kevin January 28, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Guess rates will go up again for the lost revenue from the" scrap wire" !!!!!
Jason Molinet January 28, 2013 at 05:21 PM
It’s pretty simple: Don’t use insulting language and don’t make claims that can’t be proven.
Jonathan Dees January 29, 2013 at 02:30 AM
The pigs continue to feed at the trough. They gorge themselves until their greed is too much for anyone to avoid. Why did it take so long to catch up with the pension scammers? It came known as an epidemic that what, 98% of the retirees were disabled. Where is the oversight of taxpayer and rider dollars? Glad Kathleen Rice caught up with these lowlifes. Wake up voters! When will you stop tolerating escalating bridge, tunnel and MTA fares to pay for the largess of these miscreants? Vote in people who will bring this behavior to an end.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »