GOTHAM NEWS

Ticket glitch gives rail passengers free rides for seven years

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If you discovered a glitch in the system which let you get free train tickets on your debit card, would you own up to it? Three commuters have been arrested and charged with knowingly exploiting the problem to buy $800,000 worth of Long Island Rail Road tickets and MetroCards, many of which they resold, according to the police and prosecutors.

Not everyone who benefited from the software glitch, did so knowingly. Since 2001, hundreds of rail riders have been rewarded from a computer gremlin which allowed vending machines on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad to dispense free tickets on some debit card transactions.

The problem was first spotted in May, reveals the New York Times, and let to the uncovering of a series of suspicious transactions tied to a pair of debit cards issued by First Republic Bank. New Yorker Lisa Foster Jordan, 38, was arrested on May 28 and charged with fraudulently obtaining thousands of tickets and MetroCards worth about $800,000.

Last week, the police arrested two more people in connection with the scheme, Foster Jordan’s husband, Cary Grant (yes really!) and Chris Clemente from Manhattan. Lawyers representing the trio say they will be pleading not guilty.

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Written by Jim McMillan

August 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm

One Response

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