Two men have been accused of helping truckers to avoid paying around $1 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls through a scheme involving E-Z Pass transponders.

On January 4, Duvany Zambrano, 43, of Hamilton, New Jersey, and Sergio Jara, 37, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, were indicted by a federal grand jury for defrauding the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. 

According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, starting in 2018, Zambrano, Jara, and others began acquiring thousands of E-Z Pass transponders from retailers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The transponders were registered with false credit card and personal information and then sold to truckers from the New Jersey area who frequented the Pennsylvania Turnpike as a way for those drivers to avoid paying tolls.

Authorities say that the scheme cost the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission about $1 million in lost toll revenue.

The defendants are scheduled for trial on March 4, 2023.

If convicted, the two men face a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

The case was investigated by the FBI.

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