ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Metro revenue technician and a Metro police officer face charges of conspiring to steal tens of thousands of dollars in Metro fares, much of which allegedly was used to purchase winning lottery tickets.
Authorities on Wednesday night arrested Horace Dexter McDade, 58, of Bowie, Md., and John Vincent Haile, 54, of Woodbridge, Va. McDade has worked for Metro since 1979, servicing fare vending machines at rail stations, while Haile has worked for the Metro Transit Police Department since 1997. His position involved providing protection and security for revenue technicians.
The two allegedly stole bags of coins while making their rounds to collect funds from Metro vending machines. The pair made unscheduled stops to conceal the funds at an underpass near a Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Alexandria, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
Officials say that in the last three months of 2011, Haile made $28,000 in lottery ticket purchases with cash and coins, often paying for the tickets with $500 bags of coins. Bank records indicate he has had unexplained cash deposits of more than $150,000 since 2008, and the affidavit says Haile has received nearly $63,000 in Virginia Lottery payouts since 2008 — often winning multiple times a month.
The affidavit also alleges that Haile often would change his schedule in order to work with McDade.
“Each night, the Metro put its trust — and its money — in the hands of these two defendants, and these men are accused of ripping off thousands of dollars from the Metro and local taxpayers,” says Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“I want to say clearly that we will not tolerate theft from Metro, and employees — especially law enforcement personnel — will be held accountable,” says Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn.
Surveillance video made during the investigation shows the two suspects dropping off the money and retrieving it at separate times, according to the affidavit.
The two are charged with conspiring to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds and are scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon. They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.
Metro says Haile has been suspended without pay and is in the process of being fired, while McDade has been suspended without pay. The supervisor responsible for Metro’s revenue facility also has been “relieved of his duties,” Metro says.
The transit agency also promises thorough reviews of management over revenue systems and of police policies and procedures related to revenue collection.