What to Know
- An NJ Transit superintendent and five others are accused of scheming to defraud millions of dollars from the agency, prosecutors say
- Those accused allegedly submitted fraudulent bills for service for landscaping and maintenance service
- Allegedly, all the payments were just below the $5,000 transaction limit but totaled more than $2 million
An NJ Transit facilities superintendent and five others are accused of scheming to defraud millions of dollars from the transportation agency by submitting fraudulent bills for service, authorities say.
Richard E. Schade, 62, of Lumberton and who worked out of the NJ Transit South Jersey Bus Division was charged with official misconduct for approving payments to four companies for landscaping and maintenance work, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and NJ Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo announced Thursday.
Allegedly, all the payments were just below the $5,000 transaction limit but totaled more than $2 million.
In October 2015, internal auditors reported the questionable payments to the NJ Transit Police Fraud Investigation Unit suspecting that there was possible misuse of the agency's emergency procurement process, prosecutors say.
At that time, the auditors noticed numerous payments to a small number of “vendors,” prosecutors say. Subsequently, investigators allegedly discovered more than $2.1 million paid to four companies.
In addition to Schade, former NJ Transit bus mechanic Leonard Singleton, 39, of Newfield was charged with conspiracy to commit official misconduct along with his wife, Shonta Singleton, 39; his mother, Calamity Singleton, 62, of Newfield, another relative, Lorraine Singleton, 37, of Williamstown, and Adam Horning, 35, of Marlton was also charged with conspiracy for creating a corporation for the sole purpose of receiving NJ Transit funds, prosecutors say.
Allegedly, Schade, who had the authority to approve payments, arranged for payments to companies controlled by his co-defendants and ultimately received compensation from those companies in the form of kickbacks.
Attorney information for the individuals facing charges was not immediately available.
In a statement to NBC 4 New York, an NJ Transit spokeswoman said: "NJ Transit takes allegations of misuse of public funds very seriously, and we are cooperating fully with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office as they investigate these incidents."