WASHINGTON – An indictment was unsealed today charging Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employee Tyrone Hunter, 52, of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, with two counts of extortion under color of official right and two counts of bribery concerning federal programs. Hunter, whose job duties included responsibility for the disposal of WMATA surplus property, allegedly demanded and accepted cash payments from a WMATA surplus customer in exchange for giving that customer favorable treatment in two surplus property sales.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division, and WMATA Inspector General Rene Febles. Hunter made an initial appearance today in the District of Columbia before U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxilla A. Upadhyaya.
According to the indictment, WMATA permits customers to conduct vehicle inspections free of charge but does not allow test drives. All WMATA surplus property sales are “as is” with no refunds. Hunter, an Investment Recovery Administrator for WMATA’s Office of Property Reutilization and Disposition Services, demanded that a WMATA customer pay him in exchange for the opportunity to fully inspect and test drive WMATA paratransit vans - which were offered for sale as surplus property - before bidding on them.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by FBI’s Washington Field Office and the WMATA Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by the Fraud, Public Corruption, and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.