(RIDGEWOOD, N.J.) — The former public works inspector of Ridgewood, N.J., admitted to stealing at least $460,000 in change over a more than two-year period before his arrest last year, The Record reports.
In court Wednesday, 43-year-old Thomas Rica admitted taking pockets full of quarters from the village’s coin collection room a few times a week over 25 months — a total take that would have weighed 11.25 tons, according to the U.S. Mint. He pleaded guilty to four counts of third degree theft.
Rica admited he cashed in his ill-gotten change in bank coin machines, before depositing the proceeds into his personal accounts.
The former village official, who had a salary of nearly $90,000 a year, won’t serve any time for his crime; instead he was ordered to pay back the full amount over the five years he’ll be on probation. He also lost his pension benefits earned for working for the Village of Ridgewood for a decade.
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