Goal: Find Internal Fraud
The New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority is one of the largest governmental organizations in the country. With nearly 60,000 employees and a capital budget of $12 billion, it is target for internal white-collar crime!
WizRule is a tool used by the MTA Office of the Inspector General to audit financial and revenue data for buses, subway trains, bridges and tunnels, as well as operational data, such as mean distances between failures in subway trains or buses. They look for fraud, waste, and abuse in these information systems.WizRule is run against MTA’s many databases to automatically find patterns, without any preconceived notion of what might be revealed.
A scheme, which WizRule uncovered, was orchestrated by a supervisor of a large department. Since weekly salaries are calculated to the fraction of a penny, but paychecks are issued rounded to the nearest penny, the MTA issues paychecks on a regular basis which add the accumulated penny earned by the employee to his regular salary. Employees may not notice that the penny was or was not added.
A department head with a thousand employees used his computer knowledge to divert the accumulated pennies to his own account, adding several thousand dollars a year to his own income.
When run against the payroll database, WizRule found the employees who had not received their pennies, since these were deviations from the rule. In addition, WizRule exposed that the employees were all under the control of one supervisor. This information triggered an investigation.
Result: The Supervisor was found and prosecuted.