BOSTON (CBS) – A Medford man is accused of creating nearly $200,000 worth of counterfeit Charlie Cards.
The Attorney General’s office says Casey Kolenda, 27, was arrested Monday and charged with five counts of counterfeiting with value over $10,000.
“We allege that this defendant orchestrated a scheme to manufacture and distribute counterfeit MBTA passes for his own personal gain while defrauding the Commonwealth of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” AG Martha Coakley said. “Our investigation with the MBTA remains ongoing.”
Authorities allege Kolenda made $70 monthly MBTA subway and bus passes, known as “Link Passes,” between October 2013 and March 2014. The investigation revealed that the electronic data stored on the Link Pass magnetic strip was copied using a magnetic strip reader, also known as a “skimmer.” The electronic data was then downloaded onto the magnetic strips of hundreds of MBTA stored-value cards that Kolenda purchased for as little as five cents at ticket kiosks.
The AG says, Kolenda then disguised the forged passes by applying contact paper that bore the production history of the original Link Pass, as well as the MBTA’s trademarked “T” logo. Similar in appearance and now encoded with the electronic data copied from the Link Pass, the counterfeit cards could be used at any MBTA station.
Authorities found hundreds of counterfeit passes were distributed and used on a monthly basis by MBTA riders, sometimes more than 15,000 times in one month. The AG’s office estimates that the lost revenue attributable to the forged tickets manufactured and distributed by Kolenda approaches $200,000.
Kolenda is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges, Tuesday morning.
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