A Metro station manager is accused of collecting paper farecards from passengers and loading the amounts onto SmarTrip cards to resell them, News4 has learned exclusively.
Kenneth Peters, 44, of Falls Church, was arrested Wednesday and charged with felony embezzlement after a three-month internal investigation, News4 Northern Virginia Bureau Reporter David Culver reports.
Peters was a station manager at the Vienna station and has worked for Metro since 1999. He was suspended immediately after his arrest.
Metro Transit Police say Peters took farecards from riders who didn't have sufficient funds to exit the system, let them exit and saved their farecards before loading them onto SmarTrip cards.
Standard operating procedure is for managers to direct riders to the exit fare machines so they can add money to their cards.
Authorities began an investigation after a member of the Metro treasury department told them that unusual fare card transactions were occurring at the Vienna station.
Metro Transit Police say transactions showed the transfer of multiple paper farecards onto SmarTrip cards, including two that had "a value transferred onto them in an amount high enough to arouse suspicion," according to charging documents obtained by Culver.
Documents show about $185 was transferred onto one SmarTrip and more than $291 went onto another.
Peters was identified through surveillance video, authorities say.
A search of his home turned up 24 paper farecards, two SmarTrip cards, five cell phones and four computers, say the charging documents.
"The fraudulent activity alleged in this case is an affront to all Metro employees," Metro Transit Police Chief Ron Pavlik said in a statement. "As stewards of the public's trust, Metro Transit Police are committed to prosecuting these crimes to the full extent of the law."