LIRR conductor charged in alleged ticket fraud scheme

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RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — A Long Island Rail Road conductor is accused of engaging in a scheme to defraud the MTA out of ticket revenue.

Authorities say 61-year-old Robert Anderson, of West Islip, would collect tickets without punching them and then distribute them to friends or submit them for refunds between April 2019 and September 2020.

Anderson is also accused of falsely submitting collection revenue reports, claiming he had remitted all of the tickets that he collected during his shift.

An investigation by the Office of the MTA Inspector General and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office revealed Anderson allegedly failed to include train tickets submitted by investigators in his signed revenue reports on eight separate occasions.

“This was a clear dereliction of duties by the defendant. Instead of punching the tickets, he pocketed them,” says Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini.

LIRR conductors are required to submit revenue report for each shift, which includes all tickets and revenue collected.

“As a LIRR conductor, one of your basic duties is to collect train tickets - not steal them.  This defendant allegedly chose to violate the public’s trust by pocketing the tickets and treating this rider and taxpayer money like it was his own personal piggy bank,” said MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny.

Anderson is charged with four counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, eight counts of petit larceny and eight counts of official misconduct.

Anderson has been employed by the LIRR since 2014.

If convicted of the top count, Anderson faces a maximum sentence of one and one-third to four years in prison.

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