LIRR conductor arrested in alleged ticket fraud scheme

WEST ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island Rail Road conductor is under arrest and facing charges, accused of ripping off the MTA in an alleged ticket fraud scheme.

Authorities say 61-year-old Robert Anderson, of West Islip, collected tickets without punching them and either gave them to friends or submitted them for refunds.

Additionally, Anderson would allegedly submit collection revenue reports falsely claiming that he had remitted all of the tickets that he collected during his shift.

All LIRR conductors are required to submit revenue reports for each shift, which include all tickets and revenue collected.

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Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini and MTA Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny say the scheme went on from April 2019 through September 2020.

"My Office's Public Integrity Bureau is committed to rooting out fraud and abuse of power by public servants in order to protect taxpayers," Sini said. "This was a clear dereliction of duties by the defendant. Instead of punching the tickets, he pocketed them."

Anderson, an LIRR employee since 2014, is charged with four counts of offering a false instrument for filing, eight counts of petit larceny, and eight counts of official misconduct.

"As a LIRR conductor, one of your basic duties is to collect train tickets, not steal them," Pokorny said. "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."

If convicted of the top count, Anderson faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

"The LIRR has no tolerance for the conduct that has been alleged, and I thank the MTA Inspector General and Suffolk County District Attorney for this thorough investigation," LIRR President Phil Eng said. "These allegations do not represent the high levels of integrity and professionalism of the vast majority of the LIRR's hard working employees."

Anderson has been suspended without pay.

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