NEWARK, NJ — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II and NJ Transit Police Chief Christopher Trucillo announced Feb. 7 that a NJ Transit Facilities Superintendent and five others have been charged in connection with a scheme to steal $2.1 million from NJ Transit by submitting fraudulent bills for services.
NJ Transit Facilities Superintendent Richard E. Schade, 62, of Lumberton, was charged with official misconduct for reportedly approving payments to four companies for landscaping and maintenance work. All of the payments were just below the $5,000 transaction limit but totaled more than $2 million.
In late October of 2015, internal auditors reported the suspect payments to the NJ Transit Police Fraud Investigation Unit, suspecting that there was possible misuse of the NJ Transit emergency procurement process. At that time, the auditors noticed numerous payments to a small number of “vendors.”
Investigators discovered more than $2.1 million paid to four companies.
In addition to Schade, who worked out of NJ Transit South Jersey Bus Division, former NJ Transit bus mechanic Leonard Singleton, 39, of Newfield, was charged with conspiracy to commit official misconduct along with his wife, Shonta Singleton, 39; his mother, Calamity Singleton, 62, of Newfield; another relative, Lorraine Singleton, 37, of Williamstown; and Adam Horning, 35, of Marlton, who was also charged with conspiracy for allegedly creating a corporation for the sole purpose of receiving NJ Transit funds.
The state alleges that Schade, who had the authority to approve payments, arranged for payments to companies controlled by his co-defendants and ultimately received compensation from those companies in the form of kickbacks.
Stephens credited NJ Transit Detectives James Garrison and Michael Bavosa and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Official Corruption Unit with the investigation that led to the charges in this case.
All defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges and the allegations will be presented to a grand jury. If found guilty of the charges, all defendants face up to 10 years in prison on each count.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they enter a guilty plea or are found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.