Fare-box scam could net MTA nearly $400K

The City is set to receive a $287,000 settlement from two Municipal Transportation Agency technicians accused of pilfering thousands of dollars in coins and bills.

The settlement is scheduled to go before the Muni board of directors today and issubject to its approval. The defendants, Anthony Camilleri and Tan Huynh, are both still fighting a battle in criminal court for their alleged scheme.

Camilleri began working for Muni in 1973 and was promoted to assistant electronic maintenance technician in 1991. Hyunh began working as a technician with Muni in 1993.

According to a complaint filed in 2004, the two accessed fare boxes with special keys during their free time. When a judge issued warrants, police arrested the two on March 20 of that year and searched their homes.

Between Camilleri’s car and house, police seized cardboard boxes filled with $1 bills, locked cashboxes, an illegal key and a hoard of coins. In all, police collected $10,000 in bills, $28,000 in change and $8,400 in Muni tokens, according to the complaint.

Police seized about $20,000 from Huynh’s home and a fare-box key that had been coated to hide the identification number. Police also found control boards and other electronic equipment used to count and receive fares, according to the documents.

Muni officials claimed they knew of the scam as early as 2002, but it wasn’t until a year later that they noticed the men making repairs on machines that weren’t even broken, and that they were coming early to work to fiddle with the machines.

According to Muni, the men erased data on the machines, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact amount taken. The complaint estimates at least $100,000.

Camilleri’s lawyer did not return calls for comment. He is expected to be in San Francisco Superior Court in December for a pretrial hearing.

bbegin@examiner.com

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