Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters today announced the indictment of 30 people for using forged parking placards to park illegally or to dispute previously issued parking tickets. The defendants are charged in New York State Supreme Court indictments with various charges including Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Criminal Impersonation in the Second Degree. [1]

“New York City is one of the most expensive and challenging places in the world to park a car,” said District Attorney Vance. “It came as no surprise to my Office and our law enforcement partners that alleged scammers have taken advantage of this industry in an effort to park for free and avoid paying tickets. I hope this indictment sends a clear message to anyone using a fake parking placard in Manhattan that this behavior is illegal and may result in a criminal prosecution. I thank our partners at DOI for their work on this investigation and the prosecutors in my Office’s Financial Frauds Bureau for ensuring this conduct was put to a stop.”

DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said, “Using a fraudulent placard to get around City parking regulations is no different than stealing any other City benefit or service. As our investigation shows, luxury vehicles with fake placards were restricting access to parking for the disabled, creating potentially dangerous situations and breaking the law. In fact, some of this abuse was observed right outside of DOI’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan. DOI has issued an investigative summary describing the investigation and will continue to work with its partners to ensure these fake permits are taken off the streets.”

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg: “I applaud DOI for its investigation and the DA’s office for these indictments. NYC DOT is doing its share to address placard abuse by pursuing electronic real-time verification, training law enforcement on the designs of legal placards and by enhancing our holograms. We look forward to a continued crackdown on this activity.”

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, the defendants are charged with using forged parking placards to park illegally or dispute previously issued parking tickets, predominantly in Lower Manhattan, between March and September. Sixteen of the forged placards uncovered during this investigation were purportedly from the following New York City governmental agencies: the Administration for Child Services, the New York City Law Department, the New York City Department of Health, and the Fire Department of the City of New York. Fourteen placards were purportedly issued by non-municipal agencies: the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, and the New York Blood Center.

Three of the defendants filed forged parking placards with the New York City Department of Finance in an attempt to dispute parking tickets that were previously issued. Five of the defendants used forged handicap placards that included their vehicle’s license plate number printed on the placard. Four of these defendants never applied for a legitimate handicap placard; one had previously possessed a legitimate placard, but had since reapplied and been rejected.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Gross is handling the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gloria Garcia, Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Anne Ternes, Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; Archana Rao, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Assistant District Attorney Katarina Braafladt and Paralegal Marissa Volpe also assisted with the investigation.

District Attorney Vance thanked the New York City Department of Investigation, specifically Special Investigators Dan Taylor and Christina Clyburn, Deputy Chief Investigator Robert Miller, Detective William Orange, the NYPD Squad assigned to DOI, Inspector General Jessica Heegan, and Chief Investigator James McElligott; the members of the NYPD’s 20th Precinct, specifically Officer Zackary Bloomfield; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; Director of Security Operations for the NYC Department of Transportation Stefanie Panuccio; the American Red Cross, Office of Investigations, Compliance and Ethics; and the New York City Office of Payroll Administration.

[1] The charges contained in the indictments are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.


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