A Metro worker who managed the transit agency’s surplus-property warehouse has been charged with illegally pocketing more than $60,000 in proceeds from sales of heavy machinery that Metro no longer needed, including a bulldozer and an asphalt roller.
Adrian Sclawy, 61, who was fired by Metro after investigators began looking into the alleged fraud last summer, was indicted on a felony theft charge Tuesday by a grand jury in Prince George’s County and later arrested by transit police, authorities said.
John Erzen, a spokesman for the Prince George’s state’s attorney’s office, said Metro authorities suspect that the fraud involved more than $60,000. He said Sclawy, of Annapolis, who was hired by Metro in 2005, remains under investigation.
In addition to the alleged ill-gotten $60,000, Erzen said in a statement, “there is approximately $75,000 that allegedly appeared in Sclawy’s personal bank account between 2009 and 2013 that has yet to be accounted for.”
Erzen said a tip led Metro investigators to the surplus-property warehouse in New Carrollton, where Sclawy, as part of his job, sold heavy machinery and other equipment to private companies and individuals. In several instances in recent years, he allegedly instructed purchasers to leave the payee lines blank on bank checks, telling them he would use an official stamp to make the checks payable to Metro.
Instead, he made them payable to himself, according to the indictment.
After the investigation began, Erzen said, authorities “discovered that another employee purchased surplus property from the warehouse and paid for the equipment, which included a bulldozer, chipper, tractors and an asphalt roller, via money order.”
That worker, who has not been publicly identified, told Metro’s Office of the Inspector General that Sclawy had told him to leave the payee lines blank.
“The employee provided Sclawy with $18,100 in money orders for the equipment,” but the money was not turned over to Metro, Erzen said. He said Sclawy “made the money orders out to himself and deposited them into his personal bank account.”
As the investigation continued, Erzen said, authorities found similar alleged fraudulent transactions involving $30,000 from a railroad supply company in Pennsylvania. In still other transactions with different companies, Erzen said, Sclawy “put approximately $18,000 more into his personal account.”
It was unclear Tuesday whether Metro has recovered the equipment or hopes to. Dan Stessel, a spokesman for the agency, would say only that Metro is “pleased that this activity was identified and successfully investigated.”