NJT Conductor Nabbed in Ticket Fraud

A highly-paid NJT conductor has been arrested for reselling used rail tickets.  According to reporting by Mike Frassinelli in the Star-Ledger (Sept. 23), Joseph Abate, a 46-year-old 24-year NJT veteran, made $57,346 in regular salary last year, plus $33,415 in overtime—but apparently that wasn’t enough.  He concocted a scheme to sell apparently unused tickets to a newsstand in Penn Station in Manhattan, from which they would then be resold to prospective riders.  The scheme fell through when the newsstand turned the tickets over to NJT police.

The first incident took place in March; the cops determined that the tickets were worth over $1000.  Then, on September 20, Abate tried it again, selling 281 tickets worth over $4000 to the newsstand, which turned them over to Detective Michael Bavosa of the NJT Police Fraud Unit after investigation by George Gernon of Amtrak’s police force.  Abate was then arrested and charged by the Manhattan District Attorney with 2 counts each of grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

This was not the first case of fraud perpetrated by NJT train crew, according to Frassinelli’s article.  In 2010, an assistant conductor pleaded guilty to reselling tickets, and last year, on the North Jersey Coast Line, a conductor was arrested for recruiting passengers to pay him a reduced fare in exchange for him not actually punching their tickets.