An NJ Transit train conductor and his alleged accomplice were arrested Wednesday, accused of taking money from passengers in exchange for letting them ride at a discounted rate, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said.
Robert Broschart, 49, of Howell, was charged with second-degree official misconduct, third-degree theft and third-degree conspiracy, after a seven-month investigation by the prosecutor's office and NJ Transit Police.
Broschart's alleged accomplice, Phillip Swanger, 45, of Howard Beach, was charged with third-degree theft and third-degree conspiracy.
According to prosecutors, Swanger recruited multiple commuter-passengers on the North Jersey Coast line to ride the train without purchasing fare tickets. They in turn paid Broschart a significantly reduced-fare price on a monthly or quarterly basis.
On the train, Broschart would pretend to check the passengers' tickets, said prosecutors.
The investigation began when police received information that certain commuting passengers were not paying transit fares on the North Jersey Coast Line, said prosecutors.
“New Jersey Transit employees who abuse their authority and criminally violate the public trust will be held accountable and charged for their illegal actions,” Christopher Trucillo, New Jersey Transit police chief, said in a statement. “The public should be aware that purchase of NJ TRANSIT tickets should only be made through authorized vendors."
Investigation is continuing, and anyone with knowledge of Broschart's and Swanger's alleged scheme is asked to contact the prosecutor's office at 732-431-7160 ext. 5839 or NJ Transit Police at 973-491-8953.
Broschart was remanded to jail, with bail set at $75,000. Bail for Swanger was set at $25,000.
It was not immediately clear whether Broschart or Swanger had attorneys.