Cable Car Conductor Charged for Embezzling Funds from SFMTA

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News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón



April 19, 2017

Twitter: @GeorgeGascon

SFDA CONTACT: Alex Bastian (415) 553-1931 | Maxwell Szabo (415) 553-9089
SFMTA CONTACT: Erica Kato (415) 271-7177




SAN FRANCISCO — Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced the filing of felony charges against Albert Williams, 61, of Napa County, for stealing cash he collected from cable car riders.  Williams is a cable car conductor for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

“Employees entrusted with collecting public money are expected to carry out their responsibilities with integrity,” said District Attorney George Gascón.  “Stealing money from public agencies, whatever the amount, will be met with consequences.”


“The vast majority of the men and women of the Cable Car Division are exceptional at what they do, are hard-working, and are honest people,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “As soon as we learned of improper activity, we referred the matter to our law enforcement partners, were able to identify a bad actor, and are moving now to ensure he no longer represents this agency and city on our iconic cable cars. Going forward we will immediately enhance management and oversight of our cash fare transactions and will explore long-term options such as eventually removing cash as an on-board payment option for our cable car system.  We thank the Controller’s Office, the Police Department, and the District Attorney’s Office for their good work to identify and resolve this issue.”


"The suspect’s conduct represents a violation of public trust,” said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. “Our investigators moved quickly to gather evidence and build an extensive case to present to the District Attorney’s Office.”


According to court records, Williams was employed by SFMTA as a cable car conductor and responsible for accepting cash fares from riders, issuing receipts, and turning in the collected fares at the end of each shift.  An extensive investigation revealed that during his shifts, Williams used various schemes to hide the true amount of cash he collected, allowing him to pocket hundreds of dollars in cash a month from cable car riders.


Williams was arrested today on felony charges of misappropriation of public money and embezzlement.  Custody, bail, and information related to Williams’ initial court date will be available tomorrow


The case was developed through an investigation conducted by the San Francisco Police Department’s Muni Task Force.  Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Lee is prosecuting this case.