Sewer Employees Arrested for Theft: Cops

The arrests were announced during a press conference on Wednesday.

Police arrested several employees of the Cinnaminson Sewerage Authority on Wednesday after they allegedly stole authority equipment. Police also say the employees created fraudulent invoices to order items such as televisions for personal use and operated a private business that used materials and supplies paid for by the authority.

Police also arrested a CSA mechanical subcontractor and his father, along with the employees.

Police say an investigation revealed that Paul Phillips, 54, William Yannarella, 53,  Jeffrey Lehman, 22, and Carmelo Colon, 26, were all involved in the operation of J&B Environmental Services. Police say it was a private environmental company that provided sewer maintenance to the Wyndham Hotel in Mount Laurel.

Police say in some cases the maintenance was performed by CSA employees under the direction of Phillips, the CSA Superintendent, during regular work hours for the sewerage authority. Parts and supplies were ordered by Phillips and paid for by the CSA that were specifically intended to be used at the Wyndham Hotel, according to investigators. In one case in November 2011, police say a CSA employee took a 55-gallon drum of more than $1800 in chemicals from CSA’s stock and used it to service the hotel’s system.

Police also say Phillips used CSA funds to fraudulently order items for his and other CSA employees’ personal use from Contractor Services, a business in Camden. Investigators say a sales manager at the business helped with the fraud though no charges have been filed yet against that person.

Police say the items included GPS units, speakers, vacuum cleaners, televisions and George Foreman grills.

Police say Phillips illegally received around $44,000 in merchandise and services ordered through Contractor Services.

Phillips is charged with falsifying/tampering with records, conspiracy, theft and other related offenses.

CSA Assistnat Superintendent William Yannarella, CSA employee Carmelo Colon and CSA employee Mike Colon are all charged with theft, conspiracy and other related offenses.

In addition, CSA employee Jeffrey Lehman, 22, CSA Mechanical subcontractor Joseph B. Lehman, 26, and their father, Joseph L. Lehman, 62, are all charged with illegally taking possession of a CSA backhoe and taking it to their home for personal use and work-for-hire purposes.

Police say the defendants who are unable to post bail must appear in Superior Court in Burlington County on Thursday.

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