NEW BRUNSWICK—A Piscataway police sergeant pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of stealing $2,671.25 after submitting false vouchers to collect overtime he never worked, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced.
Wayne Vakulchik, 44, a Piscataway resident, pleaded guilty to a count of theft by deception, admitting he took the money in various amounts between Jan. 22, 2008, and July 22, 2009.
During a hearing before Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick, the defendant also said he forged the signatures of superior officers to collect the money and knew he was not entitled to, or authorized to take, the payments.
Under the plea agreement, Vakulchik faces a jail term of 364 days at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center and a probationary term of up to five years when he is sentenced on May 24 by DeVesa.
In addition, the defendant will be required to resign his job and will be barred from holding a public job in the future. He remains free on $5,000 bail pending sentencing.
Vakulchik was arrested and charged Aug. 25, 2009, after an investigation determined he submitted a voucher on Aug. 4, 2009, seeking overtime for a municipal court appearance when he actually was working off-duty security at a church-sponsored function in the township.
The overtime request was denied when officials realized Vakulchik had forged his supervisor’s signature on the voucher.
A subsequent review of overtime vouchers submitted by Vakulchik determined he submitted five overtime vouchers in 2009 and collected approximately $1,250 in overtime, and, in 2008, submitted nine fraudulent vouchers and collected about $1,400.
In each instance, Vakulchik requested a minimum three hours of overtime for municipal court appearances that he did not attend.
Vakulchik, who began his career with the Piscataway Police Department on March 8, 1985, was suspended without pay from his $115,700-a-year job after he was charged.
Before pleading guilty, Vakulchik waived his right to have the case presented to a grand jury in Middlesex County.
The guilty plea was entered following negotiations with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Brian D. Gillet.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!