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Queens Chronicle

Rail to jail for alleged fake LIRR ticket dealer?

Charged with printing and selling them

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Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:30 am

A Long Island man has been charged with grand larceny after he allegedly was caught selling counterfeit Long Island Rail Road tickets.

Michael Wright, 27, of Rockville Centre, sold the tickets to passengers between March and June, the authorities said.

“For months, he allegedly created look-alike tickets, printed them from his home computer and then sold them to LIRR train riders,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown in a statement issued by his office. “The defendant’s alleged actions stole money from the MTA — cheating the system, commuters and the public.”

MTA Police Chief Michael Coan said officers confiscated four weekly and 29 monthly counterfeit LIRR tickets, which if real would be worth more than $3,000.

A search warrant executed on June 3 allegedly led to the recovery of a laminating machine, adhesive film and a flash drive containing images of weekly and monthly LIRR passes for this year. The images are trademarked material that belongs to the LIRR and the MTA.

Wright is charged with third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree identity theft and second-degree trademark counterfeiting. Queens Criminal Court Judge Gia Morris set bail at $3,000.

He is due back in court on Aug. 26.

Passengers who bought the phony tickets were questioned by MTA Police after train conductors identified the tickets as false.

Many of them were charged with misdemeanors. Such charges may include criminal possession of a forged document or failure to present a proper transportation pass, MTA spokesman Salvatore Arena said.

Coan lauded the Queens District Attorney’s Office — which is prosecuting because the LIRR is headquartered in Jamaica — for its pursuit of the case.

“... I want to thank District Attorney Brown and his team for recognizing the seriousness of this case and for aggressively helping bring it to a successful conclusion,” Coan said.

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