NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


May 14, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

BUS DRIVER CONVICTED OF STEALING HUNDREDS OF BUS PASSES IN BLACK MARKET SCHEME

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Mass Transit Administration employee Stephanie Olivia Brightful, 38, of the 100 block of Courtland Woods Circle in Pikesville, Maryland, was found guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City of one count of felony theft. Her trial was the result of a de novo appeal of a prior District Court conviction. Ms. Brightful had been employed as an MTA bus driver. The Honorable Roger W. Brown sentenced Brightful to one year incarceration, suspended that sentence, and placed her on probation for one year. Brightful was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,180 to the Mass Transit Administration.

According to evidence cited at trial, the defendant was involved in the theft and resale of large quantities of bus passes. Investigation by the MTA Police and the Maryland State Police revealed that she was using the computerized fare box in a given bus to print, without authorization, numerous $3/day bus passes and transferring these to black market ticket dealers who would then illegally sell the passes on the street. Preliminary information concerning the scheme was received by MTA Police through informants. Analysis of the MTAís computerized records, generated by the fare boxes on all buses, quantified with precision the number of fraudulent passes.

"It is my hope that the investigation and prosecution of these individuals by the Office of the Attorney General will deter others from committing similar actions," Attorney General Curran said. "The MTA will continue to monitor the activities of its employees and we will continue to investigate and prosecute any cases that may result from that monitoring."

Several other MTA bus drivers had been charged with Felony Theft by the Attorney Generalís Office under similar circumstances.

###