Two Air Traffic Controllers At JFK Arrested After Stealing Time From The Federal Aviation Administration For More Than 3 Years
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Asif Ali and Jeffrey Evagues with stealing more than $165,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) by modifying payroll system entries to indicate that they were working when they were not. Ali and Evagues were arrested earlier today in South Ozone Park, Queens, and Manorville, Long Island, respectively. Their initial appearance is scheduled for this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky at the United States Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.
The charges were announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Douglas Shoemaker, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, New York Regional Office.
As alleged in the complaint, between September 2011 and October 2014, FAA Air Traffic Controllers Ali and Evagues modified labor distribution reports on more than 300 occasions to indicate and get paid as if they were controlling air traffic at JFK when, in fact, they were taking vacation time, sick leave, or regular days off. Security camera footage captured both defendants entering the room that contains the computer from which payroll changes occurred, just minutes prior to when modifications were implemented.
“For three years, these air traffic controllers engaged in a high flying scheme to redirect public funds into their own bank accounts. Today they were grounded,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “This office and its law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that government employees act with the degree of integrity that the public expects and deserves.”
“The arrest of Mr. Asif Ali and Mr. Jeffrey Evagues for allegedly stealing time from the FAA is a clear signal that Federal employees will be held responsible for maintaining the highest level of integrity,” stated Douglas Shoemaker, DOT OIG Regional Special Agent in Charge. “Working with our law enforcement peers and prosecutorial colleagues, we will continue our vigorous efforts to protect the taxpayers’ investment in our nation’s transportation system from fraud, waste, abuse, and violations of law.”
The charges in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan P. Lax.
South Ozone Park, New York
Manorville, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 14-MC-917