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DA: Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Toll Collector Switched $24,000 With Counterfeit Bills

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A toll collector working at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel took more than $24,000 in cash, replacing the money with counterfeit bills, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jonathan Germain, 22, was released without bail after his arraignment on larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument charges.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said that between May 23 and June 13, Germain took $24,270 from deposit bags and switched the cash with counterfeit bills during the course of 10 shifts.

A contractor found the fake money while counting toll collections, Thompson said.

An investigator also caught Germain on video swapping fake bills from a brown paper bag for more than $3,000 in cash from his deposit bag, Thompson said.

"Public tolls are supposed to go into the public treasury – not the pockets of the toll collector," Thompson said in a statement. "We simply cannot allow employees in positions of trust to rip off the public that they are supposed to serve."

"We carefully monitor our revenue stream through every step of the collection process and stress to all officers during training that anyone caught stealing will be arrested and fully prosecuted," MTA Bridges and Tunnels Chief of Internal Security Donald Look said in a statement.

Germain faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court in September.

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