Undercover investigators discovered eight train conductors on the Lengthy Island Rail Street failed to produce tickets collected from riders as they had been supposed to, violating their very own company pointers and fraud protections.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Workplace of the Inspector Normal and investigators with the Suffolk County district lawyer’s workplace went incognito on LIRR trains in 2019 and 2020, after former conductor Robert Anderson was caught pocketing tickets and giving them to family and friends relatively than sending them again to the company, and the auditors discovered eight extra conductors who didn’t correctly get rid of the journey passes.
“While the OIG did not find that the Conductors took these tickets for personal gain as Anderson did, the OIG found that the Conductors violated agency policy designed to protect the agency’s revenue and employees from allegations of fraud,” reads a report released Thursday, Oct. 14, by MTA Inspector Normal Carolyn Pokorny.
Conductors are educated to “service” paper train tickets by punching them up to thrice to present that they’re used, earlier than taking them after the ultimate punch, or “canceling” the ticket in transit jargon.
On the finish of a shift, a conductor is meant to drop off an envelope with cancelled tickets at a station clerk to be despatched to the company’s income officer for evaluation.
In 2019, Anderson as a substitute saved the tickets and gave them away to family and friends to use.
On July 28, 2021, the scammer pleaded responsible to one rely of official misconduct, a misdemeanor, paying a $1,000 nice, and resigned from the commuter railroad job.
The incident prompted the OIG to conduct the stings on trains to see if any of his colleagues had been additionally not sending within the used tickets as per coverage.
On 15 situations between November 2019 and September 2020, OIG and Suffolk County investigators rode the LIRR trains and offered one-way tickets to conductors.
Eight of the transit staff later handed in envelopes with out the investigators’ tickets in them or didn’t submit envelopes in any respect, the probe discovered and the overall worth of misplaced tickets utilized by investigators was $249.
Nevertheless, the report famous that investigators couldn’t show that the eight conductors truly used the tickets for private achieve.
In response to the findings, LIRR despatched every of the eight workers a warning letter, saying that any future such violation will lead to disciplinary motion.
The company additionally posted extra notices and reminded its workers of the insurance policies, in accordance to the report.
“The LIRR expects the highest performance from its train crew members and these conductors have been re-instructed about proper ticket collection procedures,” mentioned MTA spokesperson Michael Cortez in an announcement. “Their actions do not represent the high levels of adherence to procedures of the vast majority of the LIRR’s hardworking employees.”
This isn’t the primary time in latest reminiscence that staff on the suburban railroad have run into hassle with investigators.
A married conductor couple had been caught slicing shifts and overlaying for one another, stealing greater than $3,400 in pay from the company final 12 months.
4 LIRR staff and an worker of New York Metropolis Transit — which runs the MTA’s subways, buses, and Staten Island Railway — had been busted in late 2020 for scamming the agency out of north of $1 million by claiming exorbitant “almost physically impossible” quantity of extra time.