FREEHOLD, NJ (CBSNewYork) - Two New Jersey TRANSIT employees were arrested on Thursday for defrauding the public transportation company out of thousands of dollars in ticket fares, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Robert Broschart, a 49-year-old conductor from Howell, NJ, is charged with second degree official misconduct, third degree theft and third degree conspiracy. His alleged accomplice, 45-year-old Phillip Swanger from Bradley Beach, NJ, is charged with third degree theft and third degree conspiracy.
The prosecutor’s office said that it conducted a seven-month investigation before arresting the alleged perpetrators. According to police, the investigation began when law enforcement authorities received tips that certain passengers were not paying their ticket fares on NJ TRANSIT’s North Jersey Coast Line.
Broschart and Swanger are accused of recruiting passengers to ride the train and not having them purchase a ticket, allowing them to pay Broschart and Swanger at a reduced rate. Prosecutors say that the employees then pocketed the cash.
In an effort to fool onlookers and avoid any potential suspicion, the police say that Broschart and Swanger mimicked punching and approving passenger’s tickets.
“NJ TRANSIT employees who abuse their authority and criminally violate the public trust will be held accountable and charged for their illegal actions,” NJ TRANSIT Chief of Police Christopher Trucillo said in a statement. “The public should be aware that purchase of NJ TRANSIT tickets should only be made through authorized vendors.”
If convicted, Broschart faces up to 10 years in prison for the official misconduct charge, and Swanger faces up to five years in prison for the theft and conspiracy charge.
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