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NYC Transit supervisor suspected in kickback scheme

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NYC Transit supervisor suspected in kickback scheme

BY PETE DONOHUE

DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

 

Wednesday, January 21st 2009, 5:07 AM

 

 

 

Jacqueline Jackson Cutler, an NYC Transit employee accused of job related fraud.

 

An NYC Transit supervisor allegedly "living large" with luxury cars and five flat-screen televisions in her house is suspected of looting the cash-strapped agency with a bogus billing and kickback scheme, the Daily News has learned.

 

The MTA inspector general and the Brooklyn district attorney's office are investigating whether Jacqueline Jackson, 50, inflated bills submitted by a Brooklyn company and then shared in the ill-gotten gains, law enforcement sources said.

 

The scope of the suspected fraud isn't yet known but the early signs are alarming, sources said.

 

NYC Transit is believed to have used the company, AJI Records Retrieval, to do pre-trial tasks for at least a decade, paying the firm about $1.5 million, sources said.

 

NYC Transit yesterday suspended Jackson, NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said, hours after authorities executed several search warrants in connection with the burgeoning probe.

 

Jackson earned $83,000 a year as director of legal support for the tort division in NYC Transit's legal department.

 

Yet, Jackson had a flat-screen television in just about every room - including the bathroom - of her two-story brick house on E. 46th St. in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn, a source said.

 

She also had five or so fur coats in her closets, according to the source.

 

Outside, a Mercedes-Benz S430 luxury sedan was in the driveway. Jackson also drives a Lincoln Navigator.

 

The pricey sets of wheels have Virginia license plates. Jackson is listed as owner of a house and a parcel of land in Richmond, Va. A deceased husband also is listed on property records.

 

"She's living large," one of Jackson's neighbors said. "Inside the house is so beautiful."

 

Before dawn yesterday, a team of detectives from DA Charles Hynes' Rackets Bureau and Inspector General Barry Kluger's office descended on Jackson's house with warrants to search the home, garage, Mercedes and Navigator.

 

Investigators carted away boxes of records, a computer and other electronic devices.

 

Detective investigators also searched the Gates Ave., Clinton Hill, apartment of AJI's owner, Joyce Ilarazza, 62.

 

The two women share a law enforcement connection. Both are widows whose husbands were members of the NYPD.

 

Jackson sometimes uses her deceased husband's name, Cutler. Ilarazza is a retired correction officer, the Correction Department confirmed.

 

The tort division handles lawsuits filed against the agency by bus and subway riders alleging injuries.

 

AJI Records Retrieval collected copies of plaintiffs' medical records from doctors, hospitals and other health care providers for transit lawyers preparing for trial or settlement.

 

Kluger confirmed his office launched an investigation of Jackson and AJI more than a month ago but declined comment.

 

The inspector general traditionally contacts prosecutors when IG lawyers believe criminal charges may be warranted. A Hynes spokesman confirmed the probe.

 

"NYC Transit has been cooperating fully with the MTA Office of the Inspector General in the investigation of these very serious allegations and will continue to cooperate with the inspector general and the district attorney's office in their continuing investigation," Fleuranges said.

 

Ilarazza, who also drives a Mercedes and owns property out of state, couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

 

Jackson last night declined comment. She huddled inside with her lawyer, John Rodriguez, who said, "Time will prove her vindication."

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