Boston – A North Dartmouth man was arrested today and charged with conspiring to commit an offense against the United States and embezzlement from an organization that received federal funds.
John George, Jr., 68, owned Union Street Bus Company (USBC), a New Bedford-based company that operated public buses. During the same period, George operated John George Farms (JG Farm), a large produce farm based in Dartmouth. From approximately 1994 to 2011, USBC was awarded the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) contract to operate the SRTA public bus system that served a region that included New Bedford, Fall River, and several other neighboring towns.
The indictment alleges that, while USBC had the SRTA contract, George conspired with certain individuals to have various USBC employees work at JG Farm during their assigned USBC work hours. Such farm work included plowing, loading produce, and operating a produce stand at JG Farm, all during USBC business hours. As part of the conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, George allegedly deployed USBC workers to JG Farm to repair George’s farm equipment, used USBC equipment and labor to provide personal out-of-state roadside assistance, and inflated his final yearly salary from $75,000 to $275,000 in an attempt to fraudulently boost his SRTA pension.
The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 on the charge of embezzlement from an organization that received federal funds, and on the charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Theodore L. Doherty, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General in Boston made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Dustin Chao of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.