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NJ Transit Train Conductor Charged in Ticketing Scheme

Police say the crime occurred on the North Jersey Coast Line over the past year.

A NJ Transit train conductor and his accomplice are accused of operating a scheme to defraud the transit agency of thousands of dollars of ticket money over a one-year period.

Conductor Robert Broschart, 49, of Howell and Phillip Swanger, 45, of Bradley Beach were arrested following a seven-month investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and NJ TRANSIT Police. Broschart faces charges of official misconduct, theft and conspiracy. Swanger is charged with theft and conspiracy.

The scheme depended on the complicity of "multiple" commuter-passengers, who paid Broschart, not NJ Transit, for their fares, said police. According to the report of the seven month investigation, Swanger recruited the commuters to pay Broschart a significantly reduced fare price on a monthly or quarterly basis on the North Jersey Coast Line between Penn Station, NY and Bay Head, NJ.

Broschart would then pretend he was checking the passenger's ticket, to make it look like the proper fare had been paid, police said. Authorities were alerted to the scam by a tip.

“New Jersey Transit employees who abuse their authority and criminally violate the public trust will be held accountable and charged for their illegal actions,” said New Jersey Transit Chief of Police Christopher Trucillo. “The public should be aware that purchase of NJ TRANSIT tickets should only be made through authorized vendors." He commended the work by NJ Transit detectives and the county prosecutor's office. 

Following their arrests, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully set the bail for Broschart at $75,000 no 10% and Swanger at $25,000 with 10% allowed.

Broschart is charged with second degree official misconduct, third degree theft and third degree conspiracy. He could face a maximum of ten years in jail for the official misconduct charge, and up to five years imprisonment on each of the third degree charges of theft and conspiracy.

Swanger is charged with third degree theft and third degree conspiracy, which can be punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment in New Jersey state prison.

The case is assigned to Assistant Prosecutor Michael J. Costanzo of the Office’s Special Prosecutions Bureau. Defense counsel has not yet entered an appearance on behalf of either Broschart or Swanger.

The investigation into this matter continues. Anyone with knowledge of
Brochart’s or Swanger’s activities, or the illegal sale of NJ TRANSIT tickets, is asked to contact Detective Sergeant John Maggs of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 431-7160 Ext. 5839 or Detective Michael Bavosa of the NJ TRANSIT Police at (973) 491-8953.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and State law.

Claudine Scozzari March 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
The case probabily fell into the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office accidentally. In the normal course of business, the local authorities don't patrol DOT agencies. An act of intervention has to be initiated and the entire investigation has to be processed through DOT internal investigations. The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office probably got leftovers.
TheAberdeen5 March 05, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I don't really blame these guys. They were probably looking for some way to pass the time of the routine 20-40 minute delays on every trip in and out of the city. I guess it's true what they say, "idle hands are the devil's workshop". No real worries for those guys, they will do well in Gen. Pop. in the joint. Train Conducters are considered tops in the hiarchy within the Sate penn.
Claudine Scozzari March 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Good to know the Division of Corrections is placing people can they trust in their department. When did Gregory Vida get transferred to head the Human Resource Department over at the Department of Transportation? Was is it during McGreevy's administration? Back in the summer of 2004, the human resource department was trying to populate BRIDGE MAINTENANCE with police officers from traffic investigations. If I had not been in the department to witness an actual interview, I would not believe it.
NJ Commuter March 06, 2012 at 12:27 PM
If the fares weren't so damn high, people wouldn't feel like they have to steal their rides. LOWER THE FARES, NJ TRANSIT! I'm sure NJ transit will find some way to raise the fares somehow because of this. CROOKED SHYSTERS!
NJTCommuter March 06, 2012 at 05:32 PM
The law is the law, no matter what the case is. You break it, you pay for it. People should know by now that when you try to cheat the system, you eventually get caught.

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