57 year old James Bagarozzo admitted to steating $210,000 by damaging more than 75 parking meters he had been assigned to repair between 2003 and 2011. Those efforts made it easier for the defendant to steal quarters inserted into the meters by the public. Prosecutors say he stored the stolen quarters in bags in his car or in his pants pockets. Bagarozzo used the money to pay for personal expenses and the expenses of his family members.
They add bank employees testified Bagarozzo regularly deposited large quantities of the stolen quarters. Bank tellers stated that the defendant would deposit the quarters in $500 increments.
In 2011, the City of Buffalo's Department of Parking Enforcement initiated a review of parking meters after suspecting that quarters were being stolen from the meters. Subsequently, video surveillance was conducted which showed that the defendant stole quarters from the meters on a daily basis.
Bagarozzo was arrested in December 2011 along with another employee, Lawrence Charles, who was also employed as a parking meter mechanic. Charles pleaded guilty to a similar charge on September 4, 2012.
"At any level of government, public servants owe a duty of integrity and honesty to the taxpayers they serve," said U.S. Attorney Bill Hochul. "This office will continue to prosecute any who breach that duty."
Bagarozzo will be sentenced in December.