NEW YORK CITY – Two bus industry officials are being accused of committing mail fraud, theft and bribery in connection with the misuse of federal transportation funds.
Richard Brega, owner of Brega Transport and Brega D.O.T. Maintenance Corp., was indicted by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York.
William Popkave, the former transportation supervisor for the Rockland County, N.Y., Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), also was formally charged in court.
Brega and Popkave were charged with mail fraud conspiracy, theft and bribery concerning federal funds, and obstruction of justice.
In 2013, Rockland County awarded a five-year, $70 million Federal Transit Administration-funded contract to Brega D.O.T. to operate the Transport of Rockland and Tappan Zee Express bus routes and perform maintenance, including preventive maintenance, on county-owned buses as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Brega allegedly conspired with Popkave to fraudulently invoice BOCES for preventative maintenance services that were never conducted on Rockland County-owned buses.
In exchange for his participation in the scheme, Popkave received from Brega approximately $47,000 worth of free services on his personal vehicles, as well as vehicles belonging to his family and friends.
After Brega became aware of the federal investigation, he allegedly conspired with Popkave to create fake transactions to make it appear that Popkave had paid for the services.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation with the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.