The Big Yonkers Print Fraud And Worker Sabotage….
Suspicious deliveries of new printer parts to a Yonkers' print shop have sparked allegations of fraud and worker sabotage.
BY Ernie Garcia.
In a report released Aug. 4, Yonkers Inspector General Brendan McGrath wrote that his interviews with workers at the city-run shop that prints materials for City Hall and the Yonkers Public Schools revealed possible sabotage of printers by an unnamed public employee and possible theft of new printer parts.
McGrath wrote that one of the shop's largest printers "constantly" broke down when it was most needed, but worked fine when the employee who ran it was on vacation or out of the office. In addition, the March delivery of new printer parts to the office addressed to a city worker whose name was misspelled raised more red flags.
"These instances created a suspicion that perhaps the service technicians and at least one of the employees may have been engaged in a scheme to defraud both Xerox and (the) city of Yonkers," McGrath wrote. "It appears that the (Xerox) technicians did leave the print shop with new parts that were not meant for the city of Yonkers or the Yonkers Public Schools."
McGrath's investigation began after the print shop received nine Federal Express packages on March 7 that were addressed to a print-shop worker whose name was misspelled. When that worker was asked about the packages, he and the other print-shop employees denied ever ordering new parts, which were later removed from the shop by Xerox technicians.
The shop's manager became concerned about the outside service technicians because they typically arrived after the manager left. The manager told McGrath that he saw one of the service technicians sitting in a car as the manager was leaving for the day.
McGrath's office contacted Xerox, and the company's representatives told the city there was no indication or suspicion that Xerox parts were being ordered by the technicians for print-shop machines out of the ordinary, according to the report.
When McGrath's office asked Xerox if one of its technicians could have posed as a city worker and ordered the spare parts that were subsequently removed, company representatives would only say that they believed their anti-fraud measures would reveal such a scheme.
Xerox spokesman Carl Langsenkamp wrote in an email that the company takes any allegations of misconduct against its customers seriously.
"In this case, the Xerox security team was not notified of the investigation. We look forward to discussing the case with the Inspector General’s Office," Langsenkamp wrote Thursday.
McGrath wrote that his investigation didn't discover evidence of outright theft. No city employees were fired or disciplined and the matter was not referred to the police, according to city spokeswoman Christina Gilmartin.
"Mayor (Mike) Spano's office first brought this issue to the IG's attention," Gilmartin wrote in an email Thursday. "Mayor Spano is satisfied with the final report and its recommendations."
McGrath suggested new print-shop rules that include the approval of all parts orders and service calls by a manager, a log of all service calls, a sign-in sheet for outside technicians, restricted access to the print shop and a log of all package deliveries.
Gilmartin wrote that the city has already begun implementing McGrath's suggestions.
On Aug. 1, the city issued a request for proposals for digital printing and copying program that would include new machines and services at the print shop. The company that wins the new contract will have to follow new anti-fraud protocols.