– Attorney General Paula T. Dow and
Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor
announced that Donald R. Codey Jr., former
president and general manager of Freehold
Raceway Park, was sentenced today for stealing
$3,045 in raceway promotional vouchers and
assisting two patrons to cash more than
$1.3 million in bad checks at the track.
to Director Taylor, Codey, 65, of Orange,
was sentenced to a five-year term of probation
by Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Scully
in Monmouth County. Codey is jointly and
severally liable with two co-defendants
for paying a total of $902,749 in restitution
to the corporate owner of Freehold Raceway
related to the bad checks. Judge Scully
ordered that, as a condition of the probation,
Codey must not engage in any gambling activities
and must be professionally evaluated to
determine whether he has a gambling problem.
pleaded guilty on Aug. 20 to third-degree
theft by unlawful taking for the theft of
vouchers. Codey admitted that he stole 16
“Mystery Vouchers” worth a total
of $3,045. Mystery Vouchers were sent by
Freehold Raceway to track patrons and patrons
of the Favorites off-track wagering site
in Toms River. Each voucher was issued to
be redeemable for a “mystery”
amount, ranging from $2 to $5,000, if taken
to the Favorites site on President’s
Day, Feb. 16, 2009, and used to gamble.
Codey used the vouchers to gamble at Favorites
also pleaded guilty to two counts of fourth-degree
issuing bad checks, one for each of the
two patrons he assisted in cashing bad checks.
The charges were contained in accusations
filed by the Division of Criminal Justice
as a result of an investigation by the New
Jersey State Police.
of the two patrons Codey assisted, Joseph
A. Siragusa, 43, of Marlboro, was also sentenced
today. Judge Scully sentenced Siragusa to
a five-year term of probation. The second
patron, Darryl Thomas, 50, of Newark, was
sentenced on Oct. 8 to five years of probation.
Siragusa was ordered to pay $553,660 and
Thomas was ordered to pay $349,089 in restitution
to FR Park Racing, L.P., the owner of Freehold
Raceway, representing the total bad checks
each man cashed, less amounts previously
paid or credited against the debts. Codey
is jointly and severally liable with the
two men for those amounts. Both Siragusa
and Thomas were ordered to continue receiving
counseling through Gamblers Anonymous. They
were ordered to make weekly payments against
the restitution amounts of $1,000 for Thomas
and $500 for Siragusa.
and Thomas pleaded guilty before Judge Scully
on Aug. 10 to accusations charging each
of them with third-degree issuing bad checks.
Thomas admitted that between May 2007 and
January 2009, he cashed 218 bad checks at
Freehold Raceway. Siragusa admitted that
between July and December 2008, he cashed
131 bad checks at the raceway.
checks totaled $664,560, and Siragusa’s
checks totaled $654,000. All of those checks
were returned for insufficient funds. Codey
had authorized cash advances and check cashing
privileges for the two patrons. In pleading
guilty, Codey admitted that he authorized
the two men to cash the checks at the raceway,
even though he knew they were issuing checks
against bank accounts that were closed or
had insufficient funds.
a result of the investigation, a third man,
Darren A. DeLucia, 43, of Hallendale Beach,
Fla., also pleaded guilty on Aug. 10 to
third-degree issuing bad checks for cashing
$38,000 in bad checks at Freehold Raceway
in July and August 2008. Judge Scully sentenced
him to three years of probation and ordered
him to pay full restitution.
the theft of vouchers, the investigation
revealed that Codey was present when a track
employee printed 1,000 Mystery Vouchers.
Codey took possession of the stacks of vouchers
in his office before they were mailed to
patrons of the Toms River off-track wagering
Attorney General Perry Primavera prosecuted
the case and represented the Division of
Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau at today’s
sentencing hearing. The charges are the
result of an investigation by the New Jersey
State Police conducted by Detective Sgt.
Geoffrey P. Forker and members of the State
Police Official Corruption North Unit. Deputy
Attorney General Primavera and Analyst Kathleen
Ratliff handled the case for the Division
of Criminal Justice.
early 2009, Pennwood Racing Inc., the parent
company of FR Park Racing, conducted an
internal investigation that led to the resignation
of Codey as president and general manager
of Freehold Raceway in February 2009. The
theft of vouchers was initially uncovered
as a result of that internal investigation.
bad checks were also discovered by the company
at that time. They were initially investigated
by a private security firm hired by the
company. The company referred the matters
involving the theft of vouchers and bad
checks to the New Jersey Racing Commission,
which referred them to the Division of Criminal
Division of Criminal Justice has established
a toll-free Corruption Tipline for the public
to confidentially report corruption, financial
crime and other illegal activities: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ.
The public also can confidentially report
suspected wrongdoing online at www.njdcj.org.