Third thieving toll collector pleads guilty in New Jersey - a year's jail likely
By Peter Samuel
John Filippine, 58, a longtime toll collector on the New Jersey Turnpike is pleading guilty to multiple counts of stealing toll money as part of a plea bargain. The bargain is that prosecutors will recommend Filippine for a year's jail, payment of $2,282 in restitution and a lifetime bar against employment by a state agency.
Thursday Filippine pled 'guilty' to third degree 'theft by unlawful taking' before a state judge in court in Mt Holly NJ.
Sentencing is set for Oct 7.
Two other toll collectors caught at the same time had previous pled guilty.
All three engaged in a racket in which they accepted the higher toll monies of long-distance trips from motorists but substituted toll tickets registered as issued at a close-by interchange, placing only the monies needed to pay for the faked close-by trip in their money tray at shift's end, pocketing the difference - a commonly attempted scam on ticket system tollroads like the New Jersey Turnpike.
Two of the three worked at IC5, while the third worked at IC3 in south Jersey. They all exchanged fresh tickets that should have been in the ticket issuing machine, registering them for the two interchange trip.
Investigators noticed an unusual jump in 2-interchange trips at the two locations, put the suspect toll collectors under surveillance, and gathered clear evidence of them switching tickets, then busted them.