5 MTA high-rollers busted for allegedly raking in OT while bowling, running a 5K
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One of the high-earning MTA workers busted Thursday for overtime fraud Thursday was allegedly on the clock while enjoying concerts in Atlantic City and out-of-state family vacations, prosecutors allege.
Subway maintenance supervisor Michael Gundersen, 42, of Manalapan Township, New Jersey earned a whopping $385,000 in 2018, prosecutors said — including $283,000 from 3,914 overtime hours, the equivalent of an improbable 10 hours of OT per day for an entire year.
On both March 23 and 24 of 2018, Gundersen had concert tickets and hotel reservations in AC, according to email confirmations reviewed by investigators, court documents say.
It wasn’t clear what show he enjoyed. The 2018 Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival was on at the time, and former “American Idol” contestant Chris Daughtry also performed in town that weekend.
Despite the fact that he billed for a cumulative 37 hours of work across those two days, phone, license-plate reader and work ID scanner records indicate that he spent much of the stretch in the Garden State, prosecutors allege.
The next month, Gundersen allegedly skipped town for a vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia from April 2 through April 8, according to court filings.
He used vacation days for April 4, 5 and 6, but allegedly kept the meter running for the other four days, authorities allege. Phone records located Gundersen during that period in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.
Gundersen also allegedly took it easy during shifts at his family’s New Jersey farm and at a resort in New York’s Hudson Valley, with the former trip being documented with photos posted to his wife’s Facebook page, court documents allege.
According to email records obtained by investigators, in September 2018 Gundersen donated to a charity 5K event and enthusiastically wrote that he “would love to run in the race.”
Gundersen’s email said he would “be there at 8:30AM” on Sept. 30 — while he was supposed to be working the first of back-to-back overtime shifts.
Phone records from New Jersey put Gundersen around the race route while he was supposed to be at work across the Hudson, prosecutors say.
His arrest Thursday comes after The Post and Empire Center exposed high-earning MTA workers for earning pay for hours that would have been physically impossible to work.
Gundersen’s earnings dropped significantly after The Post’s reporting spurred the MTA to rein in OT costs, which by then had increased to $1.4 billion from $849 million in 2014.
He is set to be arraigned Thursday for federal program fraud, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
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