An ex-inspector for a New Jersey town who pleaded guilty to stealing $460,000 in quarters — yes, that’s 1.8 million coins — from the city’s parking meters has been sentenced to five years’ probation. The inspector apologized, and will have to pay back almost half of what he stole.
A New Jersey Superior Court judge spared the former official from a prison sentence, reports CBS New York, one that could’ve landed him in the hoosegow for up to five years.
In response to criticism that the official should’ve had to pay back all of the money and go to prison, county prosecutors said the deal took a lot of time to negotiate, and this way, it’ll “get as much of the money back to the public as quickly as possible,” adds Assistant County Prosecutor Daniel Keitel.
If he had been sentenced to prison for second-degree theft, he wouldn’t have had to repay any of the money, Keital noted.
He’ll be paying the village $2,000 a month for five years, and the town will also get to keep the $4,000 it seized while searching the official’s home.
Back in March, the former public works inspector admitted he toted out 11.25 tons by the fistful over 25 months, switching which bank branches he used as well as coin machines to keep his scheme under wraps.