It’s usually good to screen very carefully for positions that will have access to large amounts of money, even if it’s all quarters.
Clearly oblivious to this idea was the whoever employed New Jersey public works inspector Thomas Rica.
According to North Jersey, the 43-year-old father of two was given a master key for every room in Ridgewood’s Village Hall, where all quarters from the town’s parking meters are stored.
Another employee noticed in early 2013 that some of the coins were missing, and police subsequently discovered Rica to have collected just over $500 in coins.
He was let go immediately, but a year’s worth of investigating uncovered that Rica had actually stolen a lot more.
Over a period of roughly 25 months, Rica had stolen $460,000 in quarters from the Village Hall. This totals to a whopping 1.8 million individual quarters, North Jerseyreports.
Rica was lucky enough to get Judge John Conte of Hackensack Superior Court to accept a plea deal on Wednesday. Even though Conte noted that an offense of this nature is typically punishable by up to 5 years in prison, RIca won’t spend any time in jail. Instead, he’ll have to pay every cent of that money back.
Robert Galantucci, Rica’s lawyer, said that his client simply gave in to the temptation of the coin storage room and that he “acknowledged it was wrong and is trying to make it right” by paying it back.
Rica made a comfortable living by stealing over $86,000 a year and did nothing “illicit” with the cash, Galantucci said, making no lavish purchases.
No one batted an eye to his bank deposits because Rica used only coin machines at numerous bank branches to count and deposit the money.
Rica’s plea agreement states that he will give back $69,000 at his June 6 sentencing before paying at least $2,000 a month for the next five years.
He’s also losing his $30,000 pension for the 10 years he spent as Ridgewood’s public works inspector.
via NorthJersey, Top Photo Credit: Getty Images