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Former Gainesville Regional Airport employee accused of stealing nearly $50,000

paul adjan.jpg

Gainesville Police have arrested a former Gainesville Regional Airport employee accused of stealing nearly $50,000 over the span of a year.

Paul Adjan, 65, of Gainesville is charged with aggravated white collar crime, money laundering and grand theft, all of which are felonies.

A sworn complaint released Friday says Adjan stole $48,702 from parking lot kiosks while working at the airport as facilities manager from April 2016 to March 2017.

The airport started using the automated kiosks in 2015. They allow customers to insert cash or credit card into the pay station to exit the lot. The cash is collected in a locked vault within the machine, and can only be obtained with three keys: one key to open the machine's main door, a second key to remove the cash vault and a third key to open the cash vault.

The complaint says Adjan was one of only three people who had access to all three keys. It says he took over the duty of pulling the vaults and turning the money in to deposit. The complaint says Adjan settled into a routine from April 2016 to March 2017 that went like this:

He typically pulled the vaults on Fridays and, almost without exception, put the money in a safe in the airport offices to be deposited. But on Mondays, the complaint says, Adjan would pull the vaults again and not turn the money in for deposit.

The complaint says the kiosk system zeroes out when money is removed and the badge security system logs whenever an employee is in the secured part of the airport. "Without exception, the defendant is present at the airport when the cash vault is pulled and not turned in for deposit, the complaint says. "The vault is pulled, and often within minutes, the defendant enters the airport (based on the access control log.)"

The complaint says he was even present when he was not scheduled to work. No other employee was working for every pull, it says.

The airport discovered the missing money during an audit in March of 2017. Once it was discovered, the complaint says Adjan turned in deposits from three Mondays, days in which he would have been on surveillance video.

Investigators say Adjan denied stealing the money during an interview. When asked about any unusual transaction on his bank accounts, the defendant stated he had recently deposited and transferred approximately $15,000 cash, which is cash he said he saved up over 25 years by selling cars.

Adjan was arrested Friday. He's scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 27.

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