TRENTON – Two former New Jersey Turnpike toll collectors were sentenced to jail today for stealing thousands of dollars in toll funds in a scheme in which they obtained tickets from interchanges near their toll plazas and substituted them for tickets from motorists who paid large tolls, pocketing the difference, Attorney General Paula T. Dow announced.
Glenn W. Huryan, 55, of Magnolia, was sentenced to 364 days in the county jail and four years of probation by Superior Court Judge Irvin J. Snyder in Camden County. Snyder sentenced William L Fagan III, 62, of Chews Landing, to 364 days in jail and two years of probation. Both men will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey. Huryan will be required to pay restitution to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority of $6,000, and Fagan will be required to pay restitution of $4,835, based on estimates of the amounts they stole.
The two men pleaded guilty on July 25 to accusations charging them with third-degree theft by unlawful taking. The charges were filed by the Division of Criminal Justice as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police. The New Jersey Turnpike Authority referred the case to the State Police after uncovering suspected thefts.
A third toll collector, John A. Filippine, 58, of Columbus, pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 to theft by unlawful taking for stealing an estimated $2,282. He also faces jail and probation.
The Internal Audit Department of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority initially uncovered the suspected thefts as the result of an internal audit and investigation. It referred the matter to the New Jersey State Police for further investigation. The NJTA terminated the employment of the three toll collectors after they were arrested on April 5 in connection with the thefts.
Both Huryan and Filippine worked at Interchange 5 of the Turnpike, while Fagan worked at Interchange 3. In their scheme, if a driver presented a ticket from Interchange 18W and paid the $6.95 toll at Interchange 5, Huryan would substitute a ticket he had obtained from Interchange 3 and then put the proper toll for the Interchange 3 ticket ($1.00) into the cash drawer. He would then keep the difference of $5.95 for himself. Huryan admitted that he was the individual who obtained the tickets from nearby interchanges that were used by all three of the defendants.
The NJTA became suspicious after routine auditing revealed that Huryan, Fagan and Filippine were processing an unusually large number of “excess time” tickets. Each NJTA ticket is stamped and electronically coded with the interchange or toll plaza, lane, date and time of issuance of the ticket. The NJTA’s computer system also records the interchange or toll plaza, lane, date and time of collection and payment of the ticket. An “excess time” ticket is one collected hours beyond the normal time it would take to travel from the toll plaza where it was obtained. While there are some legitimate reasons for “excess time” tickets, such as a driver taking a sleep break or a vehicle breaking down, the large number of these tickets handled by the defendants drew suspicion and caused the NJTA to commence an internal investigation.
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