The Armonk man and owner of a bus company located in Yonkers has pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city, acting Westchester County District Attorney James A. McCarty announced Thursday.
William Ahern, 60, had been charged with one count of second-degree grand larceny and one count of second-degree rewarding official misconduct, both felonies, the district attorney said.
According to McCarty, the owner of A Plus Transportation had, along with co-defendant Anna Sollozzo, then transportation supervisor for the Yonkers Board of Education, defrauded the city of $313,825 by billing it for bus services that were never provided.
Sollozzo, a 54-year-old Yonkers resident, has already pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal tax fraud, both felonies.
She had resigned her position at the start of the investigation, media reports said.
This June, Sollozzo was given two to six years behind bars. She is currently serving that sentence in state prison.
According to McCarty, Ahern created a false bus route by invoicing pickups at the Nepperhan Community Center.
Ahern submited the phony invoices to Sollozzo who approved them, knowing that no buses had ever been dispatched, McCarty said.
During the two-year period this went on, Ahern secretly deposited about $107,250 into Sollozzo’s personal bank account, McCarty said.
A Plus Transportation had contracts for bus services with the city that totaled $2,805,612 from Sept. 24, 2012 through Feb. 7, 2014.
A subsequent investigation found that Sollozzo had neglected to pay $282,398 in state income taxes from March 8, 2011 to April 14, 2014.
The fraud came to light as the Yonkers inspector general was investigating an unrelated complaint.
Ahern, who was ordered to make $179,203 in restitution, is due to be sentenced in February. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Prosecuting the case are: Assistant District Attorney Stephen Ronco of the Public Integrity Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Brian Conway, deputy chief of the Public Integrity Bureau.
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