General manager of electrical company pleads guilty to defrauding MBTA operator, Keolis

The general manager of a Massachusetts-based electrical company has pleaded guilty to his role in a fake invoicing scheme that cheated the contractor that runs the Boston-area's commuter rail system out of more than $4 million.

John Rafferty, 69, of Hale's Location, New Hampshire, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to federal prosecutors.

Rafferty was the general manager of LJ Electric, Inc., which completed work for Keolis Commuter Services — the company that has operated the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's commuter rail network since 2014.

Under the scheme, Rafferty spent millions of dollars between July 2014 and November 2021 on at least nine trucks, construction equipment including at least seven Bobcat machines, home building supplies and services, and a $54,000 camper, prosecutors said. The items were for his alleged accomplice — John Pigsley, a former assistant chief engineer for Keolis — as well as his family and friends, prosecutors said.

Rafferty, who was arrested in April, recovered the cost of the items by submitting fraudulent LJ Electric invoices to Keolis. As a result, Rafferty kept a percentage of the profit for himself. Prosecutors argued that the money could have helped with repairs for the beleaguered Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Rafferty faces up to five years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Sept. 18.

Pigsley has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court in July.



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