FREEHOLD — Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office investigators and NJ Transit detectives have charged a train conductor and his alleged accomplice with defrauding the transit company out of thousands of dollars in unpaid ticket fares.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr. and NJ Transit Director Jim Weinstein announced last Thursday, March 1 that a joint investigation resulted in the arrest of Robert Broschart and Phillip Swanger charging them in the alleged scheme of illegally accepting payments for commuter tickets and pocketing it.
Robert Broschart, 49, Howell, who was working as a NJ Transit conductor on the North Jersey Coast Line, was charged with second-degree official misconduct, third-degree theft and third-degree conspiracy. Broschart’s alleged partner, Phillip Swanger, a 45-year-old Bradley Beach resident, was charged with third degree theft and third degree conspiracy.
Investigators from the prosecutor’s office and NJ Transit Police conducted a seven-month probe into the two men’s alleged activities, after authorities received information that some commuter passengers weren’t paying fares on the North Jersey Coastline train run, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Investigators discovered that Swanger allegedly recruited a number of commuters to ride the train without having purchased tickets. Authorities allege that the riders would then pay cash directly to Broschart on a monthly or basis. Broschart would act as if he had checked their tickets giving the impression that the riders had paid the standard fare, authorities charged.
Authorities took the two men into custody last Wednesday, Feb. 29. Broschart’s bail was set at $75,000, with no 10 percent payment for release on bail permitted.
Swanger’s bail was set at $25,000. with a 10 percent payment for release permitted.
Should Broschart be convicted of the official misconduct charge, he could face as much as ten years in prison. The theft and conspiracy charges are third degree offenses that each carry a a maximum penalty of five years in prison, according to the prosecutor.
Authorities said their investigation is continuing and ask anyone with any information about the illegal sale of NJ Transit tickets to contact the prosecutor’s office at (732) 431-7160 ext. 5839, or NJ Transit Police at (973) 491-8953.