The former Chief Procurement Officer of the MTA has been indicted for allegedly using MTA funds to buy nearly $60,000 worth of iPhones and reselling them on the black market.
Prosecutors say that in 2016 Angel Barbosa, 48, ordered an MTA subordinate to purchase more than 60 iPhones from an MTA vendor, to the tune of $58,153.57. The purchase was not approved by the MTA and was allegedly conducted "outside normal procurement procedures." According to court papers, some of the phones were activated internationally in such locales as Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and India—all MTA transit deserts.
Barbosa was the MTA's procurement officer from 2013 to 2017. Prosecutors also say that when he was hired, he forged documents from his previous job as procurement manager at NYU to show a salary that was $30,000 higher than what he was actually paid. This enabled him to boost his starting salary at the MTA accordingly—he was paid $199,208 in 2016, according to See Through NY. And Barbosa allegedly helped his girlfriend get hired by the MTA at an inflated higher salary using the same trick.
The MTA reportedly fired Barbosa in March of 2017 after discovering that he had allegedly sought "favors" from the accounting company KPMG, in exchange for helping KPMG secure lucrative contracts with the MTA. Further investigation revealed the alleged cellphone buyback scam as well as the salary inflation forgery.
Barbosa pleaded not guilty yesterday to felony charges of grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument and offering a false instrument for filing. He was released on $40,000 bail, which is significantly less than what his alleged scam cost taxpayers.
"Angel Barbosa first cheated New Yorkers out tens of thousands of dollars in the form of his falsely inflated salary, and then stole nearly $60,000 from taxpayers in a smartphone procurement-and-resale scheme," Manhattan DA Cy Vance said in a statement.
Anyway, how has your commute been lately?