Photo Courtesy of PAPD
By Forum Staff
A Port Authority Police Officer has been charged with allegedly bilking his employer out of tens of thousands of dollars in a scheme that diverted fees collected from owners of vehicles towed from LaGuardia Airport to his personal bank accounts, according to Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan and Port Authority Inspector General Michael Nestor.
Jeffrey McCabe, 48, of Suffolk County, was arraigned last week on a complaint charging him with second- and third-degree grand larceny, petit larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree falsifying business records, and official misconduct. McCabe was released on his own recognizance. After 17 years with the PAPD, he resigned from the force last Wednesday.
According to the charges, McCabe was assigned to the impound unit at LaGuardia Airport. His duties included handling the release of vehicles that had been towed from the airport grounds and stored by PAPD. Between April 2016 and November 2018, McCabe allegedly collected the required money orders from those retrieving a vehicle, but instead of following procedures, he allegedly stole more than $70,000 worth of money orders.
According to the charges, a forensic analysis of McCabe’s bank records show that money orders—handwritten and payable to the defendant—were deposited into two separate accounts controlled by McCabe.
Furthermore, according to the charges, McCabe also collected money orders valued at $100 to $200 from people who were not even required to pay fees for impounded vehicles. There is no charge if a vehicle is towed due to the driver being arrested or if the automobile was stored for less than 24 hours—yet 10 individuals did provide money orders and submitted them to McCabe. An examination of the defendant’s bank records allegedly showed those 10 money orders credited to McCabe’s personal bank accounts.
“I would like to thank the Queens District Attorney’s Office for accepting our referral of this matter and their joint effort in investigating and prosecuting this case. The Port Authority IG commenced this investigation based upon a report from a Port Authority patron alleging possible theft of funds,” Nestor noted. “Working with the Port Authority Police Department, the IG fully uncovered McCabe’s alleged fraud scheme. During ths investigation, over 100 patrons were interviewed. Working with the Queens District Attorney, McCabe is now being prosecuted. The Port Authority IG remains committed to preventing any similar conduct pertaining to the Port Authority.”
If convicted, McCabe faces up to 15 years in prison.
“If the charges are proven true, the defendant does not deserve to wear a police officer’s badge,” Ryan said. “The defendant worked at LaGuardia Airport and in his capacity he collected fees from drivers who had their automobiles towed and stored. The officer, however, is accused of taking the required money orders and writing his own name on them and then depositing them into his personal bank accounts. This kind of underhanded thievery is unacceptable—especially from someone who has taken an oath to serve and protect the public.”