NJ Transit Boss, Bus Mechanic, Others Charged with Stealing $2M
An NJ Transit facilities superintendent, a former bus mechanic and four other people have been charged in connection with stealing $2.1 million from the public transportation agency through a scheme that prosecutors said involved fake billing and kickbacks.
Richard Schade, 62, of Lumberton, was charged with official misconduct for approving payments to four companies for landscaping and maintenance work, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
Schade worked out of the NJ Transit South Jersey Bus Division. Police say each payment he signed off on was just below the $5,000 transaction limit but totaled more than $2 million.
In late October 2015, internal auditors reported the suspect payments to the NJ Transit Police Fraud Investigation Unit.
Former NJ Transit bus mechanic Leonard Singleton, of Newfield, and his wife, Shonta Singleton, both 39, were charged with conspiracy to commit official misconduct.
Leonard Singleton's mother and another female relative also were involved, said authorities. Calamity Singleton, 62, of Newfield, Lorraine Singleton, 37, of Williamstown, and Adam Horning, 35, of Marlton, each face a count of conspiracy to commit official misconduct.
Horning also is charged with conspiracy for creating a corporation for the sole purpose of receiving NJ Transit funds.
Schade received kickbacks from the companies for which he approved the flagged payments, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Stephens.
The case next will be presented to a grand jury after all six people have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
If convicted, each count carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.