Pair of Philadelphians Charged with Counterfeiting SEPTA Transpasses
PHILADELPHIA—Mark Cooper, 35, of Philadelphia, PA, was charged by indictment, unsealed today, in a conspiracy involving more than 2,000 counterfeit monthly passes for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Cooper is charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud and possession of access device making equipment. Kimberly Adams, 35, of Philadelphia, PA, is charged by separate information, also unsealed today. Cooper was arrested this morning.
According to the indictment, between August 2013 and June 2015, Cooper conspired with Adams to produce and sell counterfeit SEPTA monthly TransPasses, which allow passengers to board SEPTA buses, trolleys and subway trains. Once Cooper created the counterfeit passes, he gave them to Adams who then met customers, predominately City of Philadelphia employees, inside and outside of City Hall and elsewhere, and sold the counterfeit passes, which normally sell for $91, for approximately $50. Cooper and Adams then split the proceeds. It is alleged that between August 2013 and June 2015, the defendants counterfeited and sold in excess of 2,000 monthly passes.
“This office will not tolerate fraud involving valuable government property,” said Memeger. “Those who counterfeit SEPTA passes, as the defendant allegedly did here, will be prosecuted and face serious criminal penalties.”
“We’re not going to let city employees siphon money away from one of the region’s public agencies—especially not in City Hall of all places,” said Philadelphia Inspector General Kurland. “Our administrative investigation into other employees who were involved in this conspiracy is ongoing.”
If convicted of all charges, the defendants each face a statutory maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $500,000, four years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment.
The case was initiated by the City of Philadelphia Office of the Inspector General, jointly investigated with the FBI and the SEPTA Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen Marston.
An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.