New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department Has Polygraph Contract With Daniel Ribacoff’s Fraud-Tainted Firm

In a 22 April 2021 YouTube interview with retired NYPD detective Ron Licciardi, polygraph operator Daniel Ribacoff, who is best known for his appearances on the lowbrow daytime television talk program, the Steve Wilkos Show, disclosed that he has the contract for administering pre-employment polygraph examinations to New York Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department applicants, stating:

We happen to have the contract for the MTA police, the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police, so we do the polygraphs for pre-employment, where we search for what we call undetected crimes.

Daniel Ribacoff (right) speaking with retired NYPD detective Ron Licciardi on 22 April 2021

As previously reported by AntiPolygraph.org, Ribacoff’s company, International Investigative Group, is the defendant in current civil litigation credibly alleging billing fraud in the millions of dollars.

On 17 June 2021, AntiPolygraph.org submitted the following inquiry to Metropolitan Transit Authority media relations:

Is the MTA aware that the contractor who does pre-employment polygraph screening for the MTA Police Department (International Investigative Group) is the defendant in a civil lawsuit credibly alleging billing fraud in the millions of dollars? AntiPolygraph.org reported yesterday on the latest developments in this litigation:

https://antipolygraph.org/blog/2021/06/15/ny-lawsuit-details-alleged-fraud-by-tv-polygraph-operator-daniel-ribacoffs-international-investigative-group-surveillance-of-actress-leah-remini-for-church-of-scientology/

We’re planning to report on the MTA having selected the fraud-tainted International Investigative Group (IIG) to screen police applicants and would like to know 1) when the MTA awarded this company its first contract to screen applicants, 2) when the current contract period ends, 3) whether MTA intends to cancel the current contract before it ends, 4) whether MTA intends to renew its contract with IIG, and 5) how many applicants have been polygraphed by IIG?

Any additional comment MTA may have on its dealings with IIG is also welcome.

MTA media relations neither responded to nor acknowledged this inquiry, which was submitted directly via their website.

Facebook post by Lisa Ribacoff dated 14 May 2021 mentioning polygraph screening of MTA applicants

A pre-employment polygraph examination conducted for the MTAPD in late 2020 by Daniel Ribacoff’s daughter, Lisa Ribacoff (a member of the American Polygraph Association’s board of directors), is at issue in a racial discrimination complaint currently pending before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Racial Discrimination Alleged in New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Polygraph Screening

An applicant for employment with the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department has filed a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint in connection with a pre-employment polygraph screening “test” administered by that department. Anthony M. DeStefano reports for Newsday. Excerpt:

An NYPD officer from Nassau County trying to get a job with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority police is accusing the agency of racial and disability discrimination in a government filing.

Jonathan Kyle Carter, 29, of Uniondale, alleges in a complaint that a conditional job offer he received from the MTA to join its police force in late 2020 was rescinded after he took a polygraph test.

Carter, a five-year NYPD veteran, claimed in his filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the MTA used polygraph tests to “suppress the hiring of African American (Black) police officer candidates. “

“This racially motivated invidious discrimination is done to facilitate a covert policy and procedure by MTA that denies black candidates equal opportunity, among other reasons, in favor of white applicants with family already employed by the MTA, that is nepotism, at the expense of the constitutional rights of black candidates,” Carter alleged in his filing.

His attorney, Peter Crusco of Farmingdale, said the EEOC will investigate the case and either decide to mediate the matter or give Carter the right to sue the MTA for discrimination.

A spokesman for the MTA said in a statement that as a matter of policy the agency doesn’t comment on personnel matters or “matters of pending litigation or that could become litigation.”

EEOC official said under federal law they can’t confirm or deny whether any complaint is filed.

In the filing, Carter said that he completed several parts of the MTA police application process, including an interview on Jan. 13, 2020. He said he was given a conditional offer of employment for a police officer position on Nov. 3, 2020. The employment was conditioned on a medical exam and the polygraph test, he said.

In an interview with Newsday, Carter said that he wanted to switch to the MTA police because it offered a better work schedule and better quality of life. Carter, who works for the city’s Transit Police, has 43 arrests with the NYPD, records show.

Carter said that during the polygraph exam he mentioned to the examiner that he had been diagnosed with “White Coat Syndrome,” a condition in which he gets nervous in any kind of clinical situation.

“My heart and my blood pressure goes up, so usually when I take any kind of medical exam I usually fail the initial one,” said Carter.

The polygraph examiner then became hostile when Carter mentioned White Coat Syndrome, telling him it wasn’t a real medical condition, Carter’s filing said. 

On Dec.11, 2020, after the polygraph test, Carter said he received notification from an MTA employment manager that the agency was rescinding its offer because of the results of the polygraph test. 

Based on the polygraph result, “the MTA had determined that you do not meet the requirements of the MTA police officer position, ” the letter from the agency stated, according to the EEOC complaint.

Polygraph screening provides government agencies perfect cover for unlawful discrimination in hiring. A suppressed study by the federal polygraph school showed innocent blacks failing the polygraph at a significantly higher rate than innocent whites.

FBI Reliance on Polygraphs in Terror Investigations Criticized

In an Albany, NY Times Union article titled, “In terror pursuit, a maze of leads,” staff writer Brendan Lyons mentions criticism of the FBI’s reliance on polygraphy. Excerpt:

Shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a 34-year-old Jordanian immigrant who was being held in Albany County jail contacted authorities and claimed he had driven one of the 19 hijackers on a taxicab tour of Albany a few days before the attacks.

The claim allegedly was made by Abraham Yousef, an Albany cabdriver from Troy who is in state prison after being convicted of raping a teenager he met on the Internet. Some theories police considered in weighing Yousef’s claim was that the hijackers who flew out of Boston might have looked at New York’s Capitol as a secondary target, or as a landmark for steering south along the Hudson River toward Manhattan, sources close to the case said.

While some police sources still believe Yousef was telling the truth, they said FBI agents dismissed Yousef’s story because they could not corroborate his claim after giving him a polygraph exam. FBI officials in Albany declined to discuss their interrogation of Yousef.

Despite massive overhauls in the FBI and other police agencies since Sept. 11, there are critics who still question the way some leads have been pursued in this region — and whether polygraphs have replaced old-fashioned shoe leather.

In Yousef’s case, for instance, one federal law enforcement source said agents may have put too much faith in technology to determine whether Yousef’s claim warranted more attention.

“They have been relying too heavily on lie-detector tests,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Part of their investigative methods, especially the foreign counterintelligence people, is to go give them lie-detector tests, and most people would think it isn’t a very effective method.”

FBI agents also zeroed in on the man whom Yousef claimed had introduced him to one of the 9/11 hijackers — 34-year-old Ali Mounnes Yaghi, a Jordanian immigrant and longtime pizza shop owner in Albany. Yaghi was taken into custody by FBI agents three weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks and also given a polygraph exam while being shown photographs of the 19 hijackers.

His attorney said an FBI agent told him that Yaghi flunked the polygraph exam, but the agent declined to say what questions they believe he failed to answer truthfully.

Yaghi was later cleared of having any connections to terrorism and deported to Jordan last July.

Yaghi, who has a criminal record in Albany that includes charges of trying to run down a cop and a conviction for carrying an illegal handgun, sat in the courtroom for most of Yousef’s rape trial in August 2001.

Yousef’s story, when coupled with Yaghi’s outspoken anti-American beliefs, convinced some police officers in Albany that a Sept. 11 terrorist may have visited the city.

“That was real. That happened,” insists one police official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The structure of the information, in my opinion, made it almost impossible to be a lie.”

“After 17 Years, He Walks Free” [Faith in Polygraph Helped Keep Innocent Man in Prison]

Newsday staff correspondent Joshua Robin reports on the case of Angelo Martinez, who was wrongly convicted of murder. Excerpt:

Buffalo — A Brooklyn man wrongly convicted of murder 17 years ago walked free yesterday into the arms of his mother, who said she never lost faith she’d see justice for her youngest son.

Gloria Viruet, 62, of Bensonhurst, stooped from arthritis and clutching a worn handkerchief, collapsed in the embrace of her son Angelo Martinez in the courthouse lobby. A moment later, the pair burst outside into a muggy afternoon.

“Fresh air for Chulo,” Viruet called to Martinez, 36, using his boyhood nickname and waving the air into his face. He marveled at walking outside free of guards and shackles.

“A few months ago I didn’t think this would ever happen,” Martinez said after U.S. District Court Judge John T. Curtin released him on $10,000 bond.

“My mom, boy, she was my rock. She kept me strong,” said Martinez, who spent 10 years in prison even after another man confessed to the crime. Martinez must return to court in September to face sentencing for selling drugs from prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. predicted that after a total of 17 years locked up, Martinez would be placed on probation when sentenced in September. Martinez, who has surpassed sentencing guidelines for selling drugs, has said he sold the drugs so he could afford a better attorney.

Martinez was 20 when a Queens judge sentenced him to 25 years to life for the April 10, 1985, murder of Rudolph Marasco, 70, who was killed while leaving an Ozone Park bingo hall.

Martinez’s current lawyer, Oscar Michelen, said his client’s attorney during the murder trial has since been disbarred. He said she ignored a 1991 letter informing her another man had confessed to the crime during a federal drug probe.

Authorities didn’t believe Charles Rivera, a federal prisoner in the witness protection program, because he failed a lie detector test, which Michelen said was flawed.

Further investigation by the Queens district attorney’s office later confirmed Rivera’s confession that he killed Marasco as a favor to another man over a rent dispute.

At the urging of Executive Assistant District Attorney James Clark Quinn, the case was reopened.

“If this happened in Texas, he’d have been dead already,” Michelen said.

“Mayor Race Gets Down and Dirty”

New York Post writers Robert Hardt, Jr., William J. Gorta, and Maggie Haberman report on a lie detector “test” at issue in the New York City mayoral campaign. Excerpt:

November 5, 2001 — The mayoral race exploded yesterday, with Mark Green and Michael Bloomberg trading furious charges – and Green demanding his rival release the results of a lie-detector test Bloomberg took in connection with a sexual-harassment lawsuit.

At a press conference, Green waved around a copy of a now-settled harassment suit against Bloomberg and pressed the issue most of the day.

With the race in a virtual dead heat, Green called on Bloomberg to release the questions and answers from a polygraph he took earlier this year about whether he was telling the truth in the case.

He also accused Bloomberg of “silencing” the former employee who filed the suit, Sekiko Garrison. Bloomberg accused Green of a “smear.”

“Based on her words under oath, he said things in the workplace that are nearly disqualifying for someone to run for any office – certainly mayor,” Green said.

Garrison – who settled her case for an undisclosed amount of money under confidential terms before the race began – claimed Bloomberg suggested she “kill it!” when she told him she was pregnant.

Bloomberg yesterday again denied saying it, adding, “Who would make a comment like that?”

Asked about the lie-detector results as he toured Brooklyn’s Borough Park with former Mayor Ed Koch, Bloomberg said, “Oh, we did all that. He’s just making up something.”

At the beginning of the year, Bloomberg released a sworn letter from the man who gave the lie-detector test, saying Bloomberg answered all questions truthfully. But Bloomberg didn’t provide the raw data.

Allegedly Coerced Confession after Lie Detector “Test” Leads to Acquittal

In an article titled, “Acquittal in Fire at Stable,” Newsday staff writer Pete Bowles reports on alleged police misconduct in the polygraph interrogation of a Brooklyn man. Excerpt:

A high school dropout who told police that he accidentally sparked a fire that killed 21 horses in a Brooklyn stable was acquitted Friday by a jury that believed his testimony that the confession was coerced and false.

Frank Esposito, 18, was found innocent of arson, reckless endangerment and 21 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals in the June 9, 2000, blaze at the Bergen Beach Stables near his home in Mill Basin. He had faced up to 15 years in prison.

“The police conduct in this case was unconscionable and the jury found it to be unconscionable,” said Esposito’s attorney, Nicholas Gravante Jr. “The police coerced him into making a false confession, and we were able to prove it was false. He never had anything to do with the stable fire.”

According to a videotaped statement played at trial, Esposito told detectives he set fire to some lumps of hay while smoking marijuana outside the stables about 11:30 p.m. Fire later engulfed the stables, killing 21 horses. Firefighters were able to save three horses.

Esposito testified he made up the story after being interrogated by police for 18 hours. He said that during the grilling he voluntarily took a lie detector test. He said the officers told him he had failed the test and that he should say he accidentally set the fire to help himself.

“The kid thought he had failed the test and that he had no way out,” Gravante said. “They duped him. He couldn’t take it anymore and told them what they wanted him to say.”