MARTA’s former senior director of operations will serve time in prison after pleading guilty to bilking the transit system to the tune of $500,000.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, “Joseph J. Erves, 53, of Lithonia, Georgia, has been sentenced to two years, nine months in federal prison, and ordered to pay $522,825.45 in restitution.”
Erves ran a false invoice scheme while he worked at MARTA. The transit agency paid for work that was never done and Erves pocketed the profits.
Erves was employed by MARTA from 1993 to 2017. He oversaw maintenance of MARTA’s buses and trains. He was authorized to approve payments of up to $10,000 to vendors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“From approximately June 2010 to December 2016, Erves had fake invoices prepared on behalf of the three vendors for more than 40 maintenance projects for which no work was performed,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
He used those invoices to pay three vendors who had not performed work, often personally approving the payments. The vendors funneled most of that money into Erves’ personal bank accounts, which he used to pay for personal expenses like shopping at high-end department stores and buying a Porsche 911.