TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The former supervisor at a state Treasury Department warehouse in central New Jersey has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing surplus equipment and selling it as scrap metal.

State prosecutors say David Winkler of Bordentown was also ordered Friday to forfeit $6,073, representing his share of the stolen scrap metal. He also lost his job and is barred from holding public employment.

The 51-year-old Winkler was convicted in January on numerous charges including official misconduct, conspiracy and theft. Prosecutors say he ran the scheme from July 2005 to April 2007, telling employees to take the metal salvaged from surplus or damaged office equipment to a scrapyard where they were paid in cash.

The materials were supposed to go to another scrapyard that would pay the state directly.

Four other warehouse employees lost their jobs after pleading guilty to various charges in the case, which stemmed from a state police investigation.

The probe began after treasury department officials learned one of the employees was taking illegal payments from a recycling company in return for helping the firm secure more valuable equipment in auctions of surplus state computer equipment.

The investigation quickly expanded to include evidence that warehouse employees were taking home state-owned computers and some were taking surplus metal equipment to a non-approved recycler, selling it for cash as scrap metal and splitting the proceeds. The surplus metal items included desks, filing cabinets and other furniture and equipment.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE