NEW BRUNSWICK—Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced that a part-time toll collector for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority was sentenced today to serve a 364-day jail term and repay $5,523.35 that was stolen over a 13-month period.
Michael F. Yuhas, 55, of Manchester also was placed on probation for five years and was forever barred from holding a public job.
During a hearing at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa told the defendant he will not have to begin serving the jail term until Dec. 23, 2012. By then, the judge expects the defendant to have repaid the toll money he took.
The judge said he was imposing the jail term “to send a strong message to those who steal or violate the public trust.”
Yuhas was sentenced after he pleaded guilty Sept. 11 to a count of theft, admitting he took the money in various amounts between Jan. 1, 2008 and Feb. 21, 2009.
When Yuhas pleaded guilty, he waived his right to have his case presented to a grand jury in Middlesex County. The plea agreement was reached during negotiations with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Brian D. Gillet.
Yuhas, who began working as a part-time toll collector in June 1998, was dismissed from his job in March 2009 following an investigation by the Turnpike Authority and the New Jersey State Police.
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