A technology contractor allegedly bilked the city out of more than $1 million by submitting phony time sheets, the city inspector general and the U.S. Attorney's Office announced yesterday.
Barry Jones, owner of Mara Management Services Inc. and Management and Technology Services Inc. in Haddonfield, fraudulently billed the city for work that was never done, according to the U.S. attorney.
The fake billing ran from 2004 through 2008, when Jones had contracts to provide information-technology support to the city Revenue Department and Water Department, and the city-affiliated nonprofit Community Behavioral Health.
The feds are seeking $1.2 million in restitution from Jones for the city. The charges were filed directly by the U.S. attorney, which means a plea deal is likely in the works.
Inspector General Amy Kurland said the case shows that city departments must review payments to contractors.
"We see these kind of problems a lot," she said. "Most of the criminal cases we have happen because there's lax supervision. Especially in these bad economic environments, it's especially important to be diligent in these situations."
In all, the city paid Jones $5.9 million. According to the feds, he billed for more than 17,000 subcontractor hours that were never worked, as well as for hundreds of hours that he never worked.
A phone number for Mara Management Services was not working yesterday and Jones could not be reached for comment.