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Airport’s Missing Money Case: Judge Orders Year In County Jail, Restitution Payments

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Paul Adjan will spend the next decade paying $48,702 to the Gainesville Regional Airport.

The former airport employee received that order as part of his sentence Monday morning from Criminal Circuit Judge Phillip Pena at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center. He will also serve 359 days in the Alachua County Jail and 14 years thereafter on felony probation.

Calling the sentence, “somewhat nuanced,” Pena asked Adjan to listen carefully before he delivered it. The defendant had faced four years in state prison after pleading guilty Friday to second-degree grand theft. Instead, the one-year county jail sentence (with credit for five days served) and probation come with the requirement that he send a minimum of $5,000 a year in restitution to the airport until the $48,702 is repaid. Airport executive Allan Penksa told police in 2017 that Adjan took nearly $50,000 in cash from the airport’s parking lot ticketing system.

Adjan, dressed in a green and white jail jumpsuit with chains around his ankles, said nothing during Monday’s disposition hearing. His attorney, Ben Hutson, asked the judge if Adjan could delay slightly reporting to jail so that Adjan could see his wife, who he said is in a hospital due to stress from the case.

Pena denied that request, though he said he would consider the request again if presented in the next two months with formal documentation of the wife’s situation.

Since it’s been more than two years since the money went missing and the case’s resolution, “it’s now time to move forward with sentencing,” the judge said.

He also ordered Adjan to continue having no contact with the airport or any of its employees.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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