Tech firm linked to NYC scandal to pay $500M

NEW YORK (AP) ? The technology company in charge of New York City’s scandal-plagued CityTime payroll project has agreed to pay $500 million in restitution and penalties in a deal that helps it avoid prosecution.

SAIC Inc. attorney Douglas Lobel entered the agreement Wednesday before a federal judge in Manhattan. The CityTime project was designed to automate the timekeeping of about 165,000 city employees working under various contracts.

CityTime was expected to cost $63 million when it was launched in 1998. But the cost ballooned tenfold as the undertaking grew into what prosecutors say became an international conspiracy.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had demanded the company repay the city more than $600 million spent on the project. Lobel declined to comment after the court hearing.