CRIME

Metro employee, police officer accused of stealing thousands from Metro machines

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A Metro technician and a police officer have been accused of systematically stealing thousands of dollars in coins from Metro stations throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. and using the money to buy Virginia Lottery tickets.

Horace McDade and John Haile are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Photo: WMATA)

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority employee, Horace Dexter McDade, 58, of Bowie and police officer John Vincent Haile, 54, of Woodbridge  were charged with conspiring to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds.

They face a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.

The two men were arrested late Wednesday night without incident, and they will make their initial appearance Thursday in front of an Alexandria court.

"Ripping off thousands of dollars"

"Each night, the Metro put its trust - and its money - in the hands of these two defendants, and these men are accused of ripping off thousands of dollars from the Metro and local taxpayers," said Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Court records allege that McDade and Haile conspired to steal bags of coins while working together transporting the funds for Metro in a company vehicle. While making their rounds, the two men allegedly made an unscheduled stop and concealed bags of coins at an underpass near the Revenue Collection Facility, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

After finishing their work, both men allegedly returned at different times and in different vehicles to the same drop-off location to retrieve the stolen funds. Court records indicate that this alleged suspicious activity occurred several times and that Haile often switched his assignment to work directly with McDade.

"We worked closely with Metro to investigate and develop this case, and we appreciate their commitment to holding those responsible for this theft responsible," MacBride said.

Employees suspended

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles ordered the immediate suspension without pay for officer Haile, as he is in the process of being terminated. Technician McDade also has been suspended. The supervisor responsible for the revenue facility has also been relieved of his duties, Sarles said.

The FBI has also helped with the incident, Metro Transit Chief of Police, Michael Taborn said. An investigation was initiated in October 2011, when financial irregularities were brought to the attention of Metro's Office of Inspector General (OIG)

"I want to say clearly that we will not tolerate theft from Metro, and employees - especially law enforcement personnel - will be held accountable,” he said.

Stolen money used on lottery tickets

Haile is accused of using the stolen funds to purchase Virginia Lottery tickets, often paying with multiple bags of coins containing $500 each.

From October through December of 2011, he allegedly paid more than $28,000 in cash and coins to purchase tickets, and bank records allegedly show unexplained cash deposits by Haile of more than $150,000 since 2008.

According to an affidavit, McDade has worked for Metro since 1979 and is currently assigned as a revenue technician, servicing Metro rail stations' fare vending machines when they malfunction.

Haile was hired by the Metro Transit Police Department in 1997 and provides protection and security for revenue technicians as they travel throughout the Metro system transporting funds to and from the Metro Revenue Collection Facility in Alexandria.

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