Another defendant, Michael Gundersen, 42, a maintenance-of-way supervisor at New York City Transit, was accused of reporting he had worked long shifts in March 2018, for which he was paid $2,481. But evidence showed that at the same time, he had hotel reservations in Atlantic City and tickets for concerts there on successive nights, a second complaint charged.
During other periods that Mr. Gundersen was paid thousands of dollars for claimed overtime, he was on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia, participating in a 5K footrace in New Jersey, and on a family vacation at a resort in the Hudson Valley, the complaint said. Mr. Gunderson’s lawyer declined to comment.
Mr. Caputo and the four other defendants each earned more than $348,000 total in 2018, the authorities said. The others ranked fourth, fifth, 11th and 12th that year in pay among all M.T.A. employees.
The charges come at a time when the authority is confronting its worst financial crisis because of the pandemic and a stalemate over federal aid. Without a financial bailout, the agency has said that it will have to slash subway and bus service and that more than 9,000 workers could lose their jobs.
In a news conference on Thursday in the State Capitol, Mr. Cuomo noted that the five individuals charged represented a tiny fraction of the M.T.A.’s work force, saying that there were “bad apples” in every profession. He said the M.T.A. needed to have systems in place to monitor its employees and their bills.
Still, he said, “You will never eradicate all bad actors in any system.”
The U.S. attorney’s office investigated the scheme with the F.B.I. and the transportation authority’s inspector general.
“This type of double-dealing directly contributes to rising M.T.A. fares for the average, hardworking commuter,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the F.B.I.’s New York office.