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Fraud alleged in Santa Monica Rideshare program

Authorities have uncovered alleged fraud involving Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus rideshare program. Details from the Daily Press:

Three employees with Big Blue Bus face criminal charges for allegedly abusing a rideshare program that provides free public transit passes to city employees who pledge to leave their cars at home. Following a random internal audit of the program, City Hall's Finance Department discovered irregularities in applications for the free passes as well as a lack of effective internal controls to guard against fraud, said Kate Vernez, assistant to the city manager, community and government relations. As a result, City Manager Lamont Ewell called for a full investigation on behalf of the Santa Monica Police Department. The investigation was initiated March 2.

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