Three Charged With Selling Counterfeit RTD Bus Passes
A forgery ring that allegedly sold counterfeit bus passes, resulting in losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Southern California Rapid Transit District, has been broken up with the arrest of three men, an RTD official reported.
The counterfeit monthly passes were first noticed last October and have led to losses of an estimated $50,000 a month since then, according to RTD spokesman Marc Littman. The ring was selling the phony passes at less than the $20 face value, Littman said.
An anonymous phone tip led to the arrest Friday of Constantine Kolakowski, 33, of Los Angeles; Jess Alfaro, 35, of Monterey Park, and Alfaro’s brother, Gustavo, 38, of El Monte, Littman said.
Plates, Stamps Seized
Investigators seized printing plates, stamps and as many as 3,000 counterfeit passes at two locations, including the G & J Printing Co., run by the Alfaro brothers, at 3865 Brooklyn Ave., Los Angeles, Littman said.
RTD drivers, who were alerted to watch for counterfeit passes, have confiscated hundreds during the last few months, many bearing identical serial numbers, Littman said. In response to the forgery ring, the RTD has begun issuing reflective passes that change colors and are difficult to duplicate, he said.