Hoboken in the News again – Former Head of Parking Utility Accused of Stealing $600K


Hoboken in the News again – Former Head of Parking Utility Accused of Stealing $600K

I received this release by the New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice from a correspondent. I reprint it here (edited) because it’s just so outrageous. While he was head of Hoboken’s Parking Utility, John Corea allegedly conspired to steal one heck of a lot of money from the parking meters. He did it by working with the contractor that collected the money from the meters. The contractor (who turned state’s evidence to get a reduced sentence) told Corea how much his folks had collected, and Corea would then tell him how much to run through his system and how much to keep to split with Corea.

    Read how they did it. The contractor had another business, arcade machines, and he would flush the Hoboken coins through with the money from the arcade machines, thus laundering the money. Neat, huh.

    The total amount stolen was well over a million bucks. The discrepancy was found during an independent audit.

    Does the name Corea ring a bell? He was head of the Parking Utility when the brouhaha went down with Robotic Parking and the issues with the automatic garage. If you remember, it was never really clear just what had happened, and everyone was suing everyone during that time.

    It makes one wonder just what was going on in Sinatra’s home town during that fiasco. I was reminded of my words, written at that time, to add some context to Gerhard Haag and his Robotic Parking’s situation:


“What is most sad is that Gerhard Haag was the only manufacturer that put his money where his mouth is. He built a test system in Ohio. He showed people how it would work. And he got the deal. Of course, he didn’t know how to work in an environment like Hoboken. Power, influence, politics, money and perhaps a bit of rubbing right up against the law were involved. Not a good place to cut your teeth on a new technology and in a country where the customs are foreign.”

    That was written in December of 2005. Damn I’m good…



TRENTON – Attorney General Anne Milgram announced that John P. Corea, former director of the Hoboken Parking Utility, was indicted today on charges that he conspired to steal more than $600,000 in parking meter revenue that he allegedly split with a Toms River contractor whose company was hired by the City of Hoboken to collect coins from city parking meters.

Corea allegedly used his official position to steer three separate no-bid contracts to United Textile Fabricators in November 2005 to collect the coins, count and manage them, and maintain the city’s parking meters. United Textile Fabricators is a coin-operated arcade game manufacturer.

After an audit in 2007 uncovered parking revenue shortfalls, Petaccio and his company returned approximately $575,000 to the city. However, Petaccio admitted in pleading guilty that he conspired with an official of the City of Hoboken – whom he did not name in court but had previously identified to investigators – to divert an additional sum, in excess of $600,000, which was never reported to the city and which the two men split. It is alleged that Corea is the official who conspired with Petaccio and split the money with him.

“This is an outrageous abuse of public trust,” said Attorney General Milgram. “The indictment charges that Corea used his position as director of the Hoboken Parking Utility to conspire with Petaccio in the theft of more than $600,000 in parking meter revenue that should have been used for the benefit of the city and its residents.”

“Corea used his authority to steer three no-bid contracts to Petaccio, who admitted that he stole more than $1.1 million from the city, including funds in excess of $600,000 that he allegedly split with Corea,” Milgram added.

It is alleged that while Corea was director of the Hoboken Parking Utility, he improperly

solicited Petaccio and United Textile Fabricators LLC and subsequently used his official position to assist the company in obtaining the three no-bid contracts. Each contract was for approximately $27,000 per year, just under the relevant statutory threshold at the time of $29,000, above which public bidding would have been required, allowing other companies to compete for the work.

Between June 2005 and April 2008, Corea allegedly conspired with the company to steal and launder more than $600,000 in parking meter revenues, while continuing to use his official position to assist United Textile Fabricators and conceal its illicit activities. The company’s contracts with the city were effectively terminated by April 2008. The principal business of United Textile Fabricators is the manufacture, sale and leasing of arcade crane games, coin-operated machines with a crane-like claw that the player uses to try to grab a toy. The company installs its arcade machines in businesses throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The proceeds from the machines, which are shared with the company’s clients, are collected by company employees and transported to the company’s warehouse in Toms River where they are counted and bagged for deposit into the company’s main operating account at a local bank.

The state’s investigation determined that coins from Hoboken’s parking meters were commingled with coins from the company’s arcade machines and deposited in one lump sum into the company’s operating account, concealing the source and ownership of the funds.. The two men allegedly worked out a scheme in which Petaccio reported to Corea the amount of coins collected each day, and Corea would tell him how much to put aside as the “take” to be split between them.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Great on covering this latest development – maybe the new leadership in Hoboken and New Jersey is sincere about cleaning up corruption. It would be great if Hoboken could solve its sociological issues and take its rightful place as an innovator in parking solutions. And thanks for acknowledging Gerhard and Robotic Parking – a true technology pioneer. The Israeli firm that teamed up with Corea to hijack the Garden Street garage technology model showed some amount of intelligence in selecting the best available in the world. Gerhard has since improved the system and has set another record for the world’s largest automated parking garage – but in Dubai. Look forward to the USA reestablishing a leadership position in the 21st century universe of parking. To it’s credit, Hoboken was the first for this innovative model and that should be made very clear.

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