LIRR conductor pocketed cash from unpunched train tickets: prosecutors

Clayton Guse, New York Daily News
·2 min read

Long Island Rail Road commuters were taken for a ride for over a year by a train conductor who pocketed their tickets for his own use, Suffolk County prosecutors said Monday.

Robert Anderson, 61, was arrested last month for a fraud scheme that went on from April 2019 through Sept. 2020 in which he’d collect tickets from riders, but decline to punch them. He’d then distribute the unused tickets to his friends who’d cash in on refunds or use them for their own rides, prosecutors said.

The conductor, who raked in a $150,000 salary from the LIRR last year, has been suspended without pay, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said.

Anderson was caught when undercover investigators from the MTA Inspector General’s office checked to see if the tickets they gave to him actually showed up in his work records. Tickets from eight investigators never showed up in Anderson’s reports, prosecutors said.

“As a LIRR conductor, one of your basic duties is to collect train tickets — not steal them,” said Carolyn Pokorny, the MTA IG. “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.”

Anderson was charged Monday with four felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing, eight misdemeanor counts of misdemeanor petit larceny and eight misdemeanor counts of officials misconduct. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

“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,” said LIRR president Phil Eng. “These allegations do not represent the high levels of integrity and professionalism of the vast majority of the LIRR’s hard working employees.”