NEW YORK (AP/WCBS 880/1010 WINS) — Four city consultants and the wife and mother of one consultant have been charged with defrauding New York City of $80 million through a project that was supposed to save money by consolidating payroll records.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb gets reaction from Mayor Bloomberg.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports Mayor will fight to get stolen money back

The defendants were charged with conspiracy in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday. Authorities said the payroll program was supposed to cost a total of $63 million when it was started in 1998. They say it had cost $628 million by September, with only a little over a third of its intended user population using it.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it was a “major fraud perpetrated on city taxpayers.” He said investigators told him the city would likely recover most of the money.

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