Former Motor Vehicle Commission Auditor Sentenced to 60 Days in Jail
James Pluchino, 52, must pay $9,313 restitution to the Commission
A former auditor for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission today was sentenced to 60 days in Ocean County Jail and three years of probation after being found guilty of falsifying audit records and time sheets to cover up unexcused absences.
Superior Court Judge Wendel E. Daniels ordered James Pluchino, 52, of Manahawkin, to pay $9,313 in restitution to the Commission, which covered the portion of his $62,000 salary that he took as unexcused absences, and will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.
Pluchino pleaded guilty on June 11 to third-degree theft by deception. He was indicted on Feb. 24 as a result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the MVC’s Division of Security, Investigation and Internal Audit, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said in a press release.
In pleading guilty, Pluchino admitted that he did not perform a large number of his assigned 94 audits of private inspection facilities (PIFs) between March and August 2010. He was responsible for providing vehicle inspection stickers to the PIFs and auditing their documentation to make sure all stickers could be accounted for with corresponding inspection records.
The Division of Criminal Justice estimated Pluchino falsified time sheets for at least 40 days when he did not perform any duties. Pluchino resigned in September 2010, prior to being charged in this case, after 25 years of employment with the MVC.