Two Staten Island police officers were arraigned Thursday on charges of writing dozens of fake traffic tickets to justify overtime pay.
According to prosecutors, the two used information from actual motorists to falsify tickets for nonexistent moving violations. They discarded the portion of the tickets that would usually go to the DMV in Albany, so no one at the DMV tried to collect fines from the unsuspecting motorists, prosecutors said.
The pair did turn in the other portions of the tickets to the NYPD in order to improve the statistics reported to their superior officers, according to the criminal complaint.
The lawyer for the two officers, Stuart London, was not immediately available for comment.
Police began to suspect the officers were involved in a traffic ticket scam when court logs revealed that motorists never challenged any of the 47 tickets and the two officers never even appeared at appeal sessions for the tickets in question, according to The New York Post.
Gerwer and Adinolfi created the tickets to fake productivity during their overtime shifts, prosecutors allege. Those overtime shifts were assigned for “focused enforcement” missions, such as seat belt law enforcement, reports The Staten Island Advance.
Gerwer is accused of falsifying 37 tickets, and faces 37 counts each of official misconduct, tampering with public records, offering a false instrument, and falsifying business records. Adinolfi is accused of writing 10 fake tickets and faces 10 counts for the same offenses.
If convicted, the pair could face charges ranging from probation to a maximum prison term of seven years, a Staten Island District Attorney representative said.
The two are currently suspended without pay, according to a NYPD spokesman.