4 New Jersey Transit conductors accused of reselling train tickets

Four New Jersey Transit train conductors were arrested Wednesday for illegally reselling tickets, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

The four men allegedly collected tickets from passengers, and rather than canceling the tickets as they are required to, bundled and resold them to monthly passengers at a dramatic discount. Passengers paid between $100 and $200 for a bundle of 40 tickets, approximately one third the cost of a monthly ticket, authorities said. The tickets never expire.

Wilbert Townsend, 47, of Woodbridge; Marquise Richardson, 40, of Newark; Robert Nemeth, 67, of Sayreville and Andrew Paloti, 46, of Iselin were arrested and charged with commercial bribery, official misconduct and theft, Essex County officials said.

According to authorities Townsend was arrested on a train at Newark Penn Station Wednesday morning, Richardson was arrested in Princeton Junction boarding a train when he arrived for work and Nemeth was arrested at his home in Sayreville. Paloti surrendered himself at the Essex County Prosecutor's Office in Newark.

Authorities said Nemeth retired May 2 after 44 years of service while the others are currently suspended without pay. Townsend has been with NJ Transit for 12 years, Richardson has worked for the rail line for 15 years, and Paloti has been with NJ Transit for 21 years.

All four defendants have been released. They are scheduled to make their first court appearance on August 18.

The NJ Transit Police Department's Fraud Unit initiated the investigation with assistance from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Official Corruption Unit.

The investigation is active and ongoing.
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