A Rockville Centre man is accused of making and selling thousands of dollars' worth of fake weekly and monthly Long Island Rail Road tickets, prosecutors said Friday.
Michael Wright, 27, is charged with third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, second-degree trademark counterfeiting and first-degree identity theft, all felonies.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Wright "orchestrated a complicated counterfeiting scheme" that, for months, produced "look-alike tickets" that were printed on his home computer -- then sold to train riders.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority police were led to Wright after confiscating four weekly and 29 monthly counterfeit LIRR tickets, Brown said.
An investigation by MTA police and Economic Crimes Bureau detectives from the district attorney's office resulted in a search warrant being executed on Wright's residence on June 3, Brown said.
Seized during the search were materials used to make the bogus tickets, including a laminating machine and adhesive film, and flash drives that "revealed images of weekly and monthly LIRR tickets" with dates in March, April, May and June, he said.
"This case is a great example of coordination between LIRR conductors who noticed the counterfeit tickets and MTA police investigators who traced them back to the source," MTA Police Chief Michael Coan said in a statement.
An attorney representing Wright could not be immediately reached for comment.
MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said passengers who bought the counterfeit tickets are complicit in the scam. She did not have information Friday night on how Wright was selling the tickets or to whom.
"We have holograms on our tickets, we have trademarks, we have watermarks -- we have lots and lots and lots of security embedded into our tickets and it's hard to fake, but there's always somebody trying," Anders said.
Anders said some of the passengers caught with fake tickets cooperated with investigators. No counterfeit tickets have been caught by conductors so far this month, she said.
Wright faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of the charges.
He was arraigned Wednesday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gia Morris. He was being held Friday on $3,000 bond or $1,500 cash, and is due back in court on Aug. 26, records show.
With Candice Ruud