FORT WADSWORTH — A toll collector at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge skimmed more than $3,000 in cash in a single day by ringing up trucks as cars and pocketing the extra cash, prosecutors said.
Anthony Peleg, 22, of Randall Manor, allegedly carried out the scheme multiple times on 16 different days between November 20, 2013 and February 3, 2014, according to court papers. Peleg stole $3,228 in MTA cash before he was caught, court papers said.
Investigators were tipped off after a review of surveillance tapes and an audit of MTA records, prosecutors said. Peleg allegedly confessed to the crime and falsifying the records, according to court papers.
Peleg was arraigned Friday, a day after his arrest, and charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records, prosecutors said. He was released without bail.
Trucks with up to 7 axles have to pay $116 in cash to cross the bridge, while cars pay $15.
Peleg was hired as a temporary worker by the MTA in September 2013 for a year to collect tolls, a spokeswoman for the MTA said. He was fired on Feb. 24, 2014 for excessive absences.
The last person to get caught using a similar scam on the bridge was also arrested on Thursday for an unrelated charge of trespassing on the roof of a housing project in South Beach, prosecutors said.
Richard Betancourt, 24, of South Beach — who was caught in 2012 after stealing $7,500 in Verrazano tolls by logging cars as motorcycles — was arrested for trespassing on the roof of the South Beach Houses and given a desk appearance ticket Betancourt and ordered to return to court in September, according to prosecutors.
Betancourt pleaded guilty to petit larceny in connection to his earlier skimming arrest and was sentenced to three years probation. He was also ordered to pay back the $7,500.