New York - Stockpile of cash seized in CityTime scandal
New York - Investigators probing the CityTime payroll scandal seized $850,000 in cash on Wednesday from safe deposit boxes linked to consultants accused of stealing $80 million from the city.
One of the six defendants even showed up at a Long Island bank with a large duffel bag but was turned away, a source told the Daily News.
The revelations came as the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office and the city Department of Investigation froze dozens of bank accounts linked to the defendants.
Hours later, Joel Bondy, the head of the city agency responsible for CityTime was suspended without pay, and the bloated project was transferred out of his agency.
As head of the Office of Payroll Administration, Bondy oversaw countless delays and cost overruns on the $700-million-plus project, while letting two crooks run wild in the agency, prosecutors say.
Controller John Liu, who criticized OPA's performance in a scathing September audit, also froze payments to Spherion, the company tasked to monitor how the city spent its money on CityTime.
"It was important that we not pump any more money into this contract," Liu said. "When you have that kind of scenario, you've got to wonder what other things might happen."
Prosecutors charged consultants Mark Mazer, Scott Berger and four others on Wednesday with running a scheme to rip off millions in kickbacks and overcharges on CityTime, which was supposed to computerize paper payroll records for city workers.