Ex-LIRR conductor fined $1K for pocketing train tickets for friends

A former Long Island Rail Road conductor busted for pocketing train tickets he collected from customers to hand out to friends to reuse or submit for refunds has pleaded guilty and paid a $1,000 fine, Suffolk County prosecutors and the MTA Inspector General said.

Robert Anderson, 61, of West Islip, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to misdemeanor official misconduct, after IG investigators rode the rails while the seven-year LIRR man was on duty to test whether their tickets ended up in his signed end-of-shift reports.

Anderson, who made $150,371 last year, was arrested in April on charges of falsifying forms, petit larceny and official misconduct. He faced up to four years in prison for the charges.

Prosecutors have evidence of eight occasions in 2019 and 2020 when Anderson omitted tickets he’d collected from the reports, according to court documents.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini leaves a news conference in Central Islip, N.Y., Thursday, April 13, 2017.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini spoke out against the crimes of Robert Anderson.
Seth Wenig/AP

“We hold government employees to a high standard, and when they abuse their positions as custodians of public funds, they need to be held accountable,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a statement.

According police records obtained by The Post, Anderson submitted a written statement upon his arrest in April in which he admitted to “taking [LIRR] tickets and not punching them for about seven to ten years.”

“What I do is I take a one-way ticket, whether it’s a peak or off peak ticket, and I don’t punch it,” he wrote. “The tickets I don’t punch I keep and bring home with me.”

A man buys a ticket for a Long Island Rail Road train at Pennsylvania Station in New York July 14, 2014.
Robert Anderson had collected tickets from customers and then distributed them to people he knew.
Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Anderson went on to claim he’d only given tickets “friends and family” — including “the guy at 7-11 in W. Islip,” who he insisted “never gave me money for them.”

He also claimed to be “surprised” his friends submitted the tickets for refunds.

“I never sold or profited from these tickets. It was a stupid mistake,” he wrote.

Anderson started at the LIRR in 2014, according to the SeeThroughNY database.

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