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Final Ex-LIRR Worker Sentenced In Copper Theft Scheme

Mug shots of the suspects arrested in an alleged LIRR copper theft scheme (credit: Handout/Nassau County District Attorney’s Office)

Mug shots of the suspects arrested in an alleged LIRR copper theft scheme (credit: Handout/Nassau County District Attorney’s Office)

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A former Long Island Rail Road signalman has been ordered to pay fines and restitution for participating in a scheme to steal copper wire.

Michael Carsten, 27, of Massapequa was convicted of fifth-degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor, late last year. His sentence was handed down on Tuesday.

The prosecutor had sought 90 days in jail. But the judge said Carsten should get on with his life and sentenced him Tuesday to a one-year conditional discharge.

He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $5,000 in restitution to the LIRR, Newsday reported.

Another 15 other defendants, all but one of which worked for the LIRR, previously pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay restitution.

Carsten and the 14 other LIRR employees all resigned from the railroad.

The scheme to swipe old and new copper wire to sell for scrap netted more than $253,000 over three years.

The LIRR said it makes up to $1 million per year selling discarded metal from its tracks, including copper, for scrap.

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