Third Buffalo Employee Accused of Parking Meter Coin Theft
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A third Buffalo city employee has been charged with stealing coins from the city's parking meters.
33 year old Franklin Lopez is accused of taking thousands of dollars from coins he collected from meters, that were supposed to go into the city's coffers. Prosecutors say police found over $1,300 in coins inside the defendant's work vehicle. Further investigation, including a review of Lopez's banking records, revealed a substantial amount of cash deposits. In addition, the defendant made significant cash payments, including a $10,000 down payment on a car and the purchase of two boats, a jet ski and a moped.
Prosecutors say other department employees were aware of Lopez's actions.
Lopez is the third employee of the Department of Parking Enforcement to be charged in this case. James Bagarozzo was convicted of stealing over $200,000 from Buffalo parking meters and sentenced to 30 months in prison on August 16, 2013. Bagarozzo was also ordered to pay $210,000 in restitution. Lawrence Charles has also been convicted of stealing over $10,000 from Buffalo parking meters and is awaiting sentencing.