June 11, 2014 5:00 pm

Four TTC employees arrested in joint fraud sting

Dubbed "Project Rocket", the investigation led to the execution of warrants in Toronto, Mississauga and Penetanguishene Wednesday.

Global News/File

TORONTO – Four Toronto Transit Commission employees have been arrested on charges related to allegedly making fraudulent purchases on the company dime as part of a joint investigation between Toronto Police and the TTC.

Dubbed “Project Rocket”, the investigation led to the execution of warrants in Toronto, Mississauga and Penetanguishene Wednesday.

Mississauga residents Amadeo Cuschieri, 55, Maciej Zych, 49, along with Steve Cuschieri, 34 and Dan Doron, 50 of Toronto, face numerous charges in relation to fraud, theft, and posession of stolen property.

In addition, warrants of arrest are outstanding for the following people on similar charges:

  • John Barrie Mulhall, 66, of Toronto
  • Lorenzo Lamanna, 56, of Uxbridge

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The accused allegedly used TTC funds to purchase equipment for personal use.

TTC CEO Andy Byford released a statement Wednesday addressing the arrests.

“It is alleged that over the course of several years, these individuals stole, defrauded and attempted to circumvent TTC purchasing policies and authorities, harming our collective reputation and the public’s trust of us in the process,” he said.

Byford says the TTC was fully complying with investigators, and said the arrests have prompted major policy changes forthcoming.

“Last summer, I announced the creation of the Integrity program to help root out those whose unethical actions harm this organization’s collective reputation.

“While the investigation leading to today’s announcement predates the Integrity program, I am convinced, more than ever, that the program must continue,” he said.

In addition to strengthening the Integrity program, Byford said the TTC would create a “comprehensive Whistleblower Policy and a Code of Ethics,” as well as mandatory ethics training for supervisory and management staff, to be implemented this fall.

He also added that forensic audit firm PriceWaterHouseCoopers would be retained to provide reviews and suggestions relating to “contract controls, signing authority, and procurement practices and policies” at the TTC.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook. Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

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