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Old Posted Aug 12, 2008, 8:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bronx, NYC
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Three Accused Of Selling MetroCards From Broken Machine

Three straphangers are accused of turning a malfunctioning Metropolitan Transportation Authority ticketing machine into an $800,000 free-fare windfall.

Agency officials say the scheme started in 2005, when the MTA says a Long Island woman stumbled across a machine in Penn Station that gave her free cards and rail tickets.

An MTA spokesman says it was a one-in-a-million glitch related to the specific machine, her low debit card balance, and an out-of-area bank account.

The agency says that from September of 2005 until last May, the woman, her husband, and a Manhattan man got free tickets from the machine and sold them to a list of clients.

Straphangers who spoke with NY1 had mixed reactions to the scam.

"They don't have very good auditors. Something's wrong with the computer system perhaps," said one New Yorker.

"They got away with it for so long it's not their fault," added another. "They just used their means, what they had at the time, but at the same time, it's not right to steal."

"It's unethical, it's immoral, so they should suffer the consequences," added a third.

They were caught when a routine audit found the glitch.
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