Former Metro Employees Plead Guilty to Stealing at Least $445,000 from Metro Fare Machines
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A former Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) revenue technician and former police officer pled guilty today to stealing at least $445,000 in cash and coins from Metro stations throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., and laundering the money by purchasing Virginia Lottery tickets and making cash purchases from local home improvement stores.
Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Michael Taborn, Metro Transit Chief of Police; and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
Horace Dexter McDade, 58, of Bowie, Md., and John Vincent Haile, 52, of Woodbridge, Va., pled guilty today to theft concerning programs receiving Federal funds and conspiring to commit money laundering. They face a maximum penalty of 10 years on the theft charge and 20 years on the conspiracy charge when they are sentenced on June 15, 2012.
“Shortly before midnight on January 18, each of these defendants was caught red-handed with $8,000 that they stole from WMATA,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “But this was just the tip of the iceberg. Over the course of several years, these men abused the trust Metro placed in them and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from Metro and local taxpayers. They then laundered that stolen money through the Virginia Lottery system and local businesses. Today, they took the first step in being held responsible for such a brazen theft from our transportation system.”
“These individuals eroded the public’s trust and stole from the system with which they were employed,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Such theft will not be tolerated, and we remain committed to working together with the Metro Transit Police and all our partner agencies to hold accountable those who conduct these illegal acts.”
“Metro customers and stakeholders deserve nothing less than the highest level of honesty and integrity from our employees, especially from an officer who swore an oath,” said Chief Taborn. “This is a serious breach of trust.”
According to statements of facts submitted as part of their plea agreement, McDade has worked for WMATA since 1979 and is currently assigned as a revenue technician, servicing the Metro rail stations’ fare vendors when vendors malfunction. Haile was hired by the Metro Transit Police Department in 1997 and provides protection and security for revenue technicians as they travel throughout the Metro system transporting funds to and from the Metro Revenue Collection Facility in Alexandria, Va.
McDade and Haile admitted to stealing at least $445,364 in cash and coins that was paid to Metro by customers as fares. During their shifts collecting funds from Metro stations and transporting those funds to the collection facility in Alexandria, the two men would make an unscheduled stop and conceal bags of money at an underpass in the parking lot of a Marriott Courtyard Hotel on Eisenhower Ave. in Alexandria. Later in the evening after completing their shifts, McDade and Haile would return to the underpass in their personal cars to retrieve the money they had hidden.
On Jan. 18, 2012, the night of their arrest, Haile and McDade had each stolen more than $8,000 of Metro coins and cash. Both employees were subsequently terminated by WMATA.
Haile admitted that he laundered the money he stole from Metro through purchasing an extraordinary amount of Virginia Lottery tickets, often paying with multiple bags of coins containing $500 each. Haile visited convenience stores on a near-nightly basis to purchase tickets before returning home. In fact, from October 2011 through December 2011, he paid more than $28,000 in cash and coins to purchase tickets from one of these convenience stores.
McDade also admitted to laundering money through the Virginia Lottery system. In addition, McDade also laundered the proceeds of his thefts by making numerous cash and coin purchases at The Home Depot and Lowe’s. He also used the proceeds to pay off account balances at Zale’s and Sprint.
This ongoing investigation was conducted by the Metro Transit Police Department, Metro’s Office of Inspector General and the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with assistance from the the Alexandria Police Department and the Virginia Lottery. The Alexandria Commonwealth Attorney’s Office also assisted in this case. Assistant United States Attorney Chad Golder is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.