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.