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Arrest In $740M NYC Time and Attendance System Case 97

Posted by timothy
from the psst-your-power-trip-is-showing dept.
theodp writes "Mayor Bloomberg's perception of money, opines Gothamist's Christopher Robbins, is somewhat different than most non-billionaires. Just hours before the leader in the city's $740 million CityTime web-based time and attendance boondoggle was arrested for allegedly taking $5M in kickbacks, Bloomberg said on his weekly radio program that 'we actually did a pretty good job here, in retrospect.' Overshooting the projected $68M it would cost, adds Robbins, 'pretty much sounds like the exact opposite of a 'pretty good job'.' A US Attorney said SAIC Project Manager Gerald Denault was charged with accepting more than $5M in kickbacks laundered through international shell companies while steering more than $450M of city funds to the tech company behind the kickbacks. In December, CityTime consultants were charged with stealing $80 million."
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Arrest In $740M NYC Time and Attendance System Case

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  • ...corruption in NY politics? What a surprise! The amazing thing is that SAIC managed to get a contract with the MTA after the reports of the CityTime corruption came out.
    • Re:Corruption in NY (Score:4, Informative)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:51PM (#36280394) Journal
      This is SAIC we are talking about. Corruption, regulatory capture, and general parasitism-on-dodgy-private-contract-projects are basically their business model.
      • This is SAIC we are talking about. Corruption, regulatory capture, and general parasitism-on-dodgy-private-contract-projects are basically their business model.

        Wait. What? That's the business model for the US Senate.

      • It always seems to me that the US is the most corrupt first world country in the world.

        You see stories like this and about a congressman throwing in an earmark for a company his uncle owns for millions of dollars and it's just taken as normal procedure ... unfortunate, but nothing to get any politician fired over. In the UK parliamentarians step down for dodgy expense claim of 10s of thousands of pounds ... in the US you get to hand out millions and get off scot free.

    • The problem is people that have qualities that make them charismatic leaders will, get them in positions of power. With that, comes all to often, distorted morals and ethics that do not reflect those they are representing or working for. It's a age old problem. I am sure there were some guys in a cave 10k yeas ago. Thinking Urock he is a nice guy but why does he still have meat from that last kill, and I am eating nuts.
  • Seize the $450M (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crow (16139) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:43PM (#36280340) Homepage Journal

    The law should be that if a company pays kickbacks to get a contract, they forfeit all proceeds from the contract. So if they bribe someone for a $450M contract, they then should be liable for the full amount. I'll talk to my state representative about that.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'll talk to my state representative about that.

      You better accompany that talk with a million or two. Otherwise he'll laugh you out the door.

    • Only the full amount?
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      if the executives or owners know about it, why not convict them of organized crime, throw them in prison, liquidate the company? This would be great not only at the state level but federal government. We could take out the military-industrial complex and banking cartel, this is how those dirtbag operate with our lawmakers in their pockets.
  • by Cylix (55374) * on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:52PM (#36280402) Homepage Journal

    Obviously the system has global multi-site datacenters, rfid implants, radioactive decay biometric rsa tokens and the system gives world class hand jobs.

  • Stealing from the taxpayer by government contractors or government bureaucrats is tantamount to treason.

    • And just how do you propose to carry out the sentence? Soylent Green?

      • by gman003 (1693318)
        I'm a fan of the classic "take them out back and shoot them" approach. A tall tree and a short rope would be fine as well.

        No guillotines, though. Too hard to spell.
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        no, snake tastes nasty

    • The constitution carefully incorporates a relatively narrow definition of what constitutes treason and broadening it would be both difficult and dangerous.

      However, I think that moving toward a sentencing model for high-numbers white collar criminals that recognizes that they are that much more pernicious than the deeply-unsympathetic-but-really-rather-penny-ante blue collar set would be a wholesome development.

      You can rack up fairly stiff sentences for frauds and property crimes with expected gains of
    • Stealing from the taxpayer by government contractors or government bureaucrats is tantamount to treason.

      I'm beginning to wonder if there are more than a dozen people on the Internet that know what treason is... Or possibly are sane.

      What you've written is not only out to lunch, it indicates some sort of brain damage. Did you recently jab your finger to far up your nose?

    • by dbIII (701233)
      No, treason got redefined a few years back to beating a Russian at chess. Even selling weapons to terrorists that had previously killed US Marines was redefined as patriotism.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @01:57PM (#36280448) Journal
    I wonder how toothy the Bloomberg L.P. media coverage of this won't be?
  • Setting aside why anyone would need to spend that kind of money developing a time and attendance system, why not just buy an already established system? For example, web-based T&A systems are already used heavily in the federal government.

    • by anegg (1390659)

      Without claiming this is an excuse, the system was definitely not a simple web-based T&A system. Biometric data entry terminals were to be used in order to cut down on employee fraud, as I understand it. However, the actual cost seems so grossly in excess of the expected costs that this alone can't explain it.

      • by dave562 (969951)

        Oooooo, "biometric data entry terminals". That seems like an awfully fancy way of saying "hand scanners". One of the local manufacturing companies that I consulted for did that. It sure did not cost them $750 million dollars.

      • by cheekyboy (598084)

        let employees do fraud, id rather see the little common man get a little extra under the table, than see the big wigs pocket $80M +

  • When will we put the upper class in with the gereral population. I have a feeling a lot of this kind of this type of corruption (stealing) will stop . A guy rob's a store get $150 and does not hurt anyone and get 15y. This guy is taking money from the city budget, and we end up with more budget cuts that hurt the most in need. Put his ass in very small a cell with a guy that greats him "Boy, I bet you make a nice tossed salad"

    • by arth1 (260657) on Sunday May 29, 2011 @04:39PM (#36281558) Homepage Journal

      Will that lead to a reduction in crime?
      Or is it perhaps not a reduction in crime you're after, but base revenge?

      The problem isn't the severity of the punishment (except that it's too hard for other crimes - there's a strong correlation between severity of punishment and recidivism), but the feeling these people have that they can get away with it, and not face a court at all. Because most of the time, they can, and don't.

      Let's put it this way: Would you pick up a suitcase full of money if there was a 1% risk of getting caught? Would it change your decision if the penalty was increased from 2 years in jail to 10 years? Nah, didn't think so. But what if the risk of getting caught was much higher, say 25%? Would that change it?

      Strip away all protections companies have that were meant for individuals only. And have any investment that balloons to more than, say, 125% of the inflation adjusted original be automatically subject to federal investigation. Yes, it will require more people. Some of the unemployed would welcome that. And it would save money.

      • Yeah, lets give more money to the government to stop the government from foolishly spending too much money on wasteful things! It's sheer genius.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Qui custodet custodien?

          Who else can oversee government than another branch of government?
          You sure can't, because if you found anything wrong, you would have no power to change anything.
          Businesses can't, because they don't have any power either, and worse, they have a legal obligation to their shareholders to maximize profits, even if that money comes from the tax payers.

          Yes, people in government can be greedy bastards. No doubt about that. But business leaders are greedy bastards -- it's their job.

          Break t

          • That's a brilliant plan right up until you run out of perfect people, but please, go ahead stating it like it's the obvious answer instead of the problem itself. After all, if we just trust that the people in government will do the right thing, it should work, so lets just give them the power.

      • The problem is people that have qualities that make them charismatic leaders that, get them in positions of power. With that, comes all to often, no morals and ethics that reflect those they are representing or working for. Having grown up reading the Punisher comics. Wish he were real.
        • by arth1 (260657)

          The problem is people that have qualities that make them charismatic leaders that, get them in positions of power.

          No, I believe that's the effect. The problem is idiots who base their votes on factors like charisma. Any old grandmother who votes for someone because "he has such a honest smile" or "he's a good christian" should be taken out and shot.
          We don't let people out on the road without a driver's license, but we let them do something far more dangerous: vote.

          The founding fathers had the right idea: Only let the elite vote. Unfortunately, they had a couple of bad apples who convinced them that how elite you w

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            While I agree with you in principal. Our education standards are so poor that basing it on "education" would be just as bad. I have found that the overlap of knowledge and critical thinking between those that are "educated" and those that are not is so large as to be a useless measure. If you take out the top and bottom 10% of people based on knowledge, you would have a very hard time telling who was "educated", and who wasn't.
      • by sjames (1099)

        If you can get white collar crime to face the same penalties (and the same prison conditions) as blue collar crime, you can expect shorter sentences and better conditions for all.

        That is especially true if wealthy criminals are no more likely to go to the country club minimum security than poor criminals are.

        Of course, just getting caught is only half of it. We have to make sure the "white collar" crime is actually prosecuted as well. A bunck of investment bankers screwed the entire world's economies for th

  • When will we put the upper class in with the gereral population. I have a feeling a lot of this kind of this type of corruption (stealing) will stop . A guy rob's a store get $150 and does not hurt anyone and get 15y. This guy is taking money from the city budget, and we end up with more budget cuts hurt the most in need. Put his ass in very small a cell with a guy that greats him "Boy, I bet you make a nice tossed salad"
  • A US Attorney said SAIC Project Manager Gerald Denault was charged with accepting more than $5M in kickbacks laundered through international shell companies while steering more than $450M of city funds to the tech company behind the kickbacks.

    Having worked for them, I can totally see it happening. They are constantly yammering about ethics but I never saw much in the way of internal audits or investigations. Results apparently speak louder than web-based training modules.

  • Is there an open source project that helps track time for employees?

  • What the hell? How does ANYONE justify spending that kinda change for a friggin' TIME CLOCK!

There can be no twisted thought without a twisted molecule. -- R. W. Gerard

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