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Fmr. Verizon worker accused of tapping lines

September 9, 2008 9:44:23 PM PDT
A former Verizon employee is accused of tapping into the lines of various customers in New Jersey. The Bergen County Prosecutor's office says Joseph R. Vaccarelli of 159 Oak Ridge Avenue in Nutley, New Jersey had "tapped into the phones of various Verizon customers throughout Bergen County and placed numerous calls to a personal "900" number chat line.

Vaccarelli, a former facilities technician for Verizon, allegedly used unauthorized customer phone service and placed numerous calls to a personal 900 number during his Verizon work day.

He worked for Verizon for approximately 10 years, ending this past August.

Documents provided by Verizon's Security Department indicated that Vaccarelli, 45, made approximately 5000 calls, resulting in 45,000 minutes of call time that affected 942 Verizon customers, invesitgators said.

The price tag for the unauthorized calls totaled an estimated $220,000.00.

In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang, Vaccarelli, while admitting to making some calls, said the allegations were "outrageous."

"It's unfair to throw every call that was made at me, and make me the scapegoat," he said. "I did not make all those calls, all those minutes. I did not."

The calls were made in approximately 30 municipalities in Bergen County. Verizon estimated that out of a 40 week period, Mr. Vaccarelli spent 15 of those weeks talking on the 900 chat line.

Vaccarelli was charged with theft by deception and theft of services. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

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