Man Who Stole $460K in Quarters Must Return Only Half
Former NJ official Thomas Rica gets sentenced to probation, not jail
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 10, 2014 2:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's hard to say what's more surprising: Thomas Rica's crime, or his sentence. The former Ridgewood, NJ, public works inspector was sentenced yesterday to five years of probation for stealing more than a million quarters harvested from the city's parking meters. Over a period of several years, prosecutors say Rica would make regular trips to the meter collection room, each time swiping thousands of coins from the buckets there, the Record reports. All told, they believe he stole $460,000, notes AP.

That should have landed him in jail under state sentencing guidelines, but under his plea deal Rica won't serve any time—and he'll have to pay back only $250,000 of the money he stole. Prosecutor Daniel Keitel defended the deal by saying that if they'd gone to trial, Rica may have gone to jail, but he wouldn't have had to return any money at all. This deal will "get as much of the money back to the public as quickly as possible," he said.

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Ezekiel 25:17
Sep 25, 2014 1:01 PM CDT
Its called restitution. New Jersey needs to consider it in their state code. It allows for collections on losses like this one after conviction.
Kkaoign Singleton
Aug 5, 2014 2:57 PM CDT
WTF, why not give him 20 years in jail and if he returns $250,000.00 his sentence would be reduced to half?
Jul 13, 2014 10:29 AM CDT
So, let me get this straight....steal over $400k and I only have to pay back half with no jail time served? Sounds like a good deal. Where do I sign up?