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West Roxbury Resident Indicted in Logan Airport Bribery Case

Vadim Mkrtychev is accused of 10 counts of soliciting or accepting a bribe as a public employee, two counts of soliciting or accepting an unlawful gratuity as a public employee, and one count of attempted extortion.

 

A West Roxbury resident was among five Massport employees indicted on Tuesday for their involvement in an alleged bribery scheme at Logan Airport's cab stands.

Vadim Mkrtychev, 37, of West Roxbury, was indicted on 10 counts of soliciting or accepting a bribe as a public employee, two counts of soliciting or accepting an unlawful gratuity as a public employee; and one count of attempted extortion.

Mkrtychev was one of five civilian Massport employees charged in a 53-count indictment on Tuesday, of soliciting and taking bribes from cab drivers in exchange for letting them cut ahead of other taxis at Logan Airport, according to a press release from Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley's office.

He was employed as a Ground Transportation Unit agent, known as a “cab starter" and was arrested in February on the charges. "Starters" like the four charged, man the cab stands and give out violations to "jumpers," who are cab drivers who fail to report to the Taxi Pool. The starters are supposed to issue violations to the jumpers, but authorities allege these five agents took money from the cab drivers.

"Some 'jumpers' who spoke candidly with State Police investigators estimated that they made about $350 per day following procedure, but could make as much as $600 per day by paying off 'starters' to let them jump into line at a cab stand without first waiting in the Taxi Pool," according to the district attorney's office.

The other four employees indicted include Kenneth Clement, 67, of Attleboro -- accused of 11 counts of soliciting or accepting a bribe as a public employee and two counts of soliciting or accepting an unlawful gratuity as a public employee; Michael Garvey, 51, of Melrose -- accused of seven counts of soliciting or accepting a bribe as a public employee and three counts of soliciting or accepting an unlawful gratuity as a public employee; Donald Potts, 47, of Medford -- accused of seven counts of soliciting or accepting a bribe as a public employee and three counts of soliciting or accepting an unlawful gratuity as a public employee; and James Murley, 45, of Canton -- accused of seven counts of soliciting or accepting a bribe as a public employee and three counts of soliciting or accepting an unlawful gratuity as a public employee.

The investigation included "video surveillance, secretly-recorded conversations with the defendants, the review of GPS monitoring devices on Boston taxi cabs, and additional evidence developed by State Police investigators since September 2012," authorities said.

Between November and January, authorities said the defendants took in more than $1,000 in alleged bribe money and allegedly would take $20 or $40 for letting the "jumpers" skip the Taxi Pool. Investigators also found the agents allegedly took "scratch tickets, cigarettes, and other goods" instead of cash in some instances.

All five defendants are scheduled for arraignment at the Suffolk Superior Court on May 24.

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