LAZ Parking, a company hired by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to operate parking lots in Greater Boston, has agreed to pay $5.6 million to settle allegations that it “failed to detect and deter” the theft of millions of dollars in MBTA revenue, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Monday.
“LAZ employees skimmed millions of dollars in cash from MBTA parking facilities, robbing the public of funds we need to invest in transportation,” Healey said in a statement. “Through this settlement, we’re recovering millions of dollars for the state and forcing the company to change its bidding practices.”
The company submitted false daily revenue reports and monthly audits, and falsely certified monthly invoices due to “its failure to properly track or audit revenue collection and usage” at 13 MBTA parking lots,” the attorney general’s office said.
Under the agreement, LAZ Parking will pay the state $1.1 million. The company, whose contract with the MBTA was terminated in March, has also agreed to pay the MBTA $4.5 million to settle a May lawsuit claiming LAZ breached its contract, the attorney general’s office said.
“The MBTA is pleased to have reached a resolution that makes the MBTA whole for the losses it sustained,” said John Englander, general counsel for the state Transportation Department and the MBTA.
In a statement, LAZ Parking president Jeffrey N. Karp said the company “acknowledges the alleged theft by three dishonest employees at a limited number of these parking lots.”
“LAZ has accepted our share of any responsibility and we have honored all of the commitments we had made and fully reimbursed the MBTA for the losses which were incurred,” Karp said.Aimee Ortiz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz.