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New York City's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, created a pet project with the stated goal of modernising the city's old paper-based payroll system with a new computerised biometric system called Citytime.

The project was meant to cost $63m in taxpayer money, but that amount has ballooned to over $600m, and Citytime has been described as one of the "largest and most brazen frauds ever committed" against New York.

US prosecutors say some of the contractors hired to reduce payroll fraud actually helped swindle taxpayers out of millions of dollars.

Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reports from New York.

Source: Aljazeera