One of the six accused scammers in the CityTime case pleaded guilty this week, one has died, and a seventh has been arrested.
But stay tuned, because the web of people caught up in this scandal is bound to grow.
In a sign of that, the main firm designing the bloated $740 million timekeeping and payroll project booted another key executive last week.
Virginia-based Science Applications International Corp. ousted systems engineer Carl Bell after an internal review found he approved timesheets for a highly paid CityTime consultant for years even though the consultant did no work on the project, a knowledgeable source told the Daily News.
Bell did not return calls for comment. A person who knows him well said Bell flew out of the country this week for an extended stay in Trinidad.
The consultant whose timesheets Bell approved is said to be a key executive at Technodyne, one of several SAIC subcontractors on the project. Technodyne's chief officer Reddy Allen did not respond to a request for comment.
Bell is the third major figure on the CityTime project SAIC has ousted in recent weeks. First, Gerard Denault, the $540,000-a-year project manager, was relieved of his responsibilities. Then Salvatore Salamone, a former city technology official who worked for a decade as a CityTime consultant, was shown the door.
Prosecutors have not accused anyone from Technodyne or SAIC, one of the country's biggest defense contractors, of wrongdoing.
But it can't be good news for those companies that Victor Natanzon, one of the six arrested in December, pleaded guilty this week in the $80 million fraud and is cooperating with investigators, as is another co-conspirator identified in Thursday's indictment only as "CC-1."
The fraud revolved around bogus consultant timesheets, and Natanzon's firm, Prime View, got $21 million from Technodyne as part of the SAIC contract to supply consultants.
Much of that money ended up as kickbacks to the mastermind of the ring, former city employee Mark Mazer. Ironically, Mazer was being paid by the city to keep an eye on the other consultants.
Prosecutors have spent weeks poring over records of all the firms involved. They are trying to figure out how so much taxpayer money was stolen without anyone in charge catching the theft.
SAIC, a defense giant with scores of government contracts across the country, is clearly worried. The company dispatched a special team from its Virginia headquarters to review what happened here. It's dismissing any CityTime manager who can't satisfactorily explain their actions.
So stay tuned.
And let's not forget that all of this happened on the watch of that great fiscal watchdog himself, Mayor Accountability.
Maybe he could cut fewer cop and firemen pensions if he hadn't allowed these crooks to steal nearly $800 million in a non-ending contractual boondoggle to create a payroll system.