Five people charged in connection with buy-a-badge scheme related to Mariner East Pipeline

Top row: Frank Recknagel, Security Manager for Energy Transfer; Nikolas McKinnon, Senior Security Adviser for TigerSwan LLC; Michael Boffo, Site Security Supervisor for TigerSwan LLC; Bottom row: James Murphy, operator of Raven Knights LLC; and Richard Lester, registered owner of Raven Knights LLC.

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. — An Energy Transfer official and four employees of contracted security firms were arrested and charged Tuesday in connection with a buy-a-badge scheme related to the Mariner East Pipeline, according to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

The following people face charges for bribery, conspiracy and related offenses: Frank Recknagel, Security Manager for Energy Transfer; Nikolas McKinnon, Senior Security Adviser for TigerSwan LLC; Michael Boffo, Site Security Supervisor for TigerSwan LLC; James Murphy, operator of Raven Knights LLC; and Richard Lester, registered owner of Raven Knights LLC.

The five individuals allegedly conspired to recruit, hire and pay state Constables to use their badges and authority for the private security interests of the Sunoco Pipeline, which is illegal as they’re not permitted to use their official position or badges for private security jobs, per the DA’s Office.

Two Constables were arrested in August for the accusations above.

In an attempt to hide the illegal activity, Recknagel allegedly arranged to “off-shore” the actual hiring and payment of the Constables. He used two security firms to do that, TigerSwan LLC and Raven Knights LLC, the DA’s Office says.

When the Constables got paid, the DA’s Office says they failed to report the payments on their Pennsylvania Ethics Statements, which is a legal requirement.

“This is a pretty simple case,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “State Constables sold their badges and official authority. Energy Transfer bought those badges and authority, then used them as a weapon to intimidate citizens. And the defendants attempted to conceal their activity through a maze of companies and payments.”

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