1,087 unpaid tolls? That’s no record

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

At least that's how the saying goes.

Funny it doesn't seem to apply to toll-taking authorities.

They seemed to get fooled a lot more often than that.

A North Jersey woman owes almost $33,000 to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for 1,087 unpaid tolls, plus fines, according to a court filing.

Catherine Cappelluti of Weehauken blamed her boyfriend for the toll-free trips, made from 1998 to 2004.

The dollar amount, some reports said, was a Port Authority record.

But don't call Guinness about the number of violations.

Tomorrow, the Atlantic City Expressway, fed up with being ripped off by scofflaws, officially starts taking its biggest violators to court.

First to get a summons from the state police could be a company that owes $14,000 - just for tolls, according to Kevin Rehmann, spokesman for the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the expressway.

Since the highway's highest toll is $2, that's at least 7,000 violations, he said.

In another case, one individual or family account in Camden County owes $2,100 for 1,278 toll violations.

"That means he got 1,278 violation notices," said Rehmann, who would not identify the miscreants.

With fines, that account's total tab is about $21,000, he said.

The Delaware River Port Authority was unable this morning to provide up-to-date figures about its worst scofflaws.

But in one much-publicized case in 2004, Paul Lombardi, owner of Five County Carting Inc., was charged for 2,559 trips through toll booths, and failing to pay times fees and fines totalling $20,762.

His company racked up those charges in just over two years.

 


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.