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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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I think this "monetary gift" is a form of income. He should ask Nidia Lopez how to hide it from the IRS. Maybe he can start calling himself Phil Boehringer and open a bank account in Florida using Nidia's address.

Posted on: 2009/12/5 1:27
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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What would Miss Manners say?

Is it his birthday party, or legal fund?

Hudson Reporter
Al Sullivan
December 3, 2009

HUDSON COUNTY -- This past July, 44 political and religious leaders were arrested as part of a federal corruption sting in New Jersey. Many of those arrested were officials in Jersey City.

The FBI used a Central Jersey developer who was facing charges related to his business, developer Solomon Dwek, to offer campaign donations to people running for office this year, and to their emissaries. Dwek would imply or outright say that he wanted help with his developments in exchange for the money.

Among those arrested in the sting was newly elected Jersey City Councilman Phil Kenny, who pleaded guilty in October and stepped down.

Well, Phil Kenny?s birthday party (which some are calling a fundraiser for his legal fund) is set for Dec. 6 at Abbey?s Pub in downtown Jersey City. The invitation says ?The kindness of a monetary gift would be greatly appreciated.? The return address has former Councilman Tom Friccione's name on it.

What are you going to write on the check? Any thoughts?

For more tidbits, see Al Sullivan's political column this weekend at www.hudsonreporter.com, in the "columns" section above.

Posted on: 2009/12/4 18:14
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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This morning on WNYC (NPR Radio) The Takeaway, there was a story on Beldini pleading not guilty, Healy and the corruption scandal in Jersey City.

Posted on: 2009/12/3 14:43
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Mike Manzo pleads guilty.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... s_guilty_in.html#comments

Leona Beldini pleads not guilty. They are gonna throw the book at her.

Posted on: 2009/12/2 19:36
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Maybe the superceding complaint is not harmonized with the antecedent.


You just blew my mind.

Posted on: 2009/12/1 22:47
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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I wondered the same thing. Maybe the superceding complaint is not harmonized with the antecedent.

Posted on: 2009/12/1 22:14
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Isn't Healy "JC Official 4?" Or have they all been re-numbered?

Posted on: 2009/12/1 20:39
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Healy, maintains he has done nothing wrong, as he is referred to in several places in the 21-page indictment.

Healy is right about the done nothing part, he has done nothing for Jersey City, he has done nothing for the good of the Jersey City Residents, he has done nothing regarding the Crime Problem, he has done nothing regarding the Tax Issue's, ect.

So I agree with Mayor Healy when he says he has done nothing, he is a do nothing Mayor.


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icechute wrote:
Quote:
Beldini allegedly told Dwek that Healy knew that the ticket purchases were funded by him and agreed with Dwek that Healy ?appreciates the way [the CW] does business.?

At a March 13 meeting, Healy pointed out that Beldini, in addition to being one of his deputy mayors, owns a real estate company, and agreed with Dwek that it was a ?big benefit.?

At a later meeting, Dwek asked Healy to make sure his development applications were not put ?at the bottom of the pile.? From the Beldini indictment: ?JC Official 1 laughed and said, ?Bottom of the pile or top of the pile?? Cheatam made clear that the CW ?wants to be on the top,? and defendant BELDINI said, ?Well, we can flip the pile.?


IMO, those quotes should pretty much wrap it up as far as Healy goes.

Posted on: 2009/12/1 15:28
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Beldini allegedly told Dwek that Healy knew that the ticket purchases were funded by him and agreed with Dwek that Healy ?appreciates the way [the CW] does business.?

At a March 13 meeting, Healy pointed out that Beldini, in addition to being one of his deputy mayors, owns a real estate company, and agreed with Dwek that it was a ?big benefit.?

At a later meeting, Dwek asked Healy to make sure his development applications were not put ?at the bottom of the pile.? From the Beldini indictment: ?JC Official 1 laughed and said, ?Bottom of the pile or top of the pile?? Cheatam made clear that the CW ?wants to be on the top,? and defendant BELDINI said, ?Well, we can flip the pile.?


IMO, those quotes should pretty much wrap it up as far as Healy goes.

Posted on: 2009/12/1 14:28
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Additional media coverage of Monday's criminal (and political?) developments, with more details from the new indictments incorporated into the article:

NJ deputy mayor facing more corruption charges

[from "The Record," Monday, November 30, 2009, 6:24 p.m.]

NEWARK ? Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini faces new charges for her role in a federal bribery sting that resulted in the arrest of 26 elected officials and political operatives in July.

A new six-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury earlier this month added two counts of attempted extortion under color of official right and three counts of accepting something of value that was meant to influence and reward.

The original indictment returned in August charged Beldini with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right, a charge that remains in the new indictment.

Federal authorities allege that Beldini accepted $20,000 in campaign contributions for Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy?s re-election campaign from Solomon Dwek, a government informant posing as a developer offering bribes in exchange for speedy building approvals from the city.

Beldini was the treasurer of Healy?s re-election campaign.

The charges also accuse Beldini, a real estate agent, of trying to secure commissions for herself by offering to serve as the broker or co-broker for condominiums in Dwek?s proposed development.

In return, Beldini allegedly assured Dwek that she could help him ?get through a lot of red tape? in Jersey City to help him get his building projects rolling, the charges allege.

Beldini?s attorney, Brian Neary, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

The criminal conspiracy alleged in both indictments is the same, though the newest court filing provides some further details.

The indictments detail a series of meetings that Beldini had with Dwek, in which they discussed specific details of Dwek?s contributions to Healy?s campaign and how Beldini and others could help ensure city approvals.

Beldini talked to both Dwek and Jack Shaw, a Hudson County political operative who died shortly after being charged in the corruption scheme, about making Dwek?s payments appear to come from several fictitious donors and splitting them among various political committees, including the Jersey City Democratic Committee, to avoid exceeding campaign contribution limits, the indictment said.

The indictment also includes for the first time a transcribed conversation between Dwek and Beldini, in which Dwek told Beldini he would ?count on [her] for all [her] help, you know, approvals and stuff,? to which Beldini responded, ?Absolutely.? Dwek later said to Beldini, ?you?re my person, obviously, for the real estate.?

Beldini allegedly told Dwek she would charge a 5 percent commission for condominium units that she sold. If another broker helped on the sale, the fee would be 6 percent, with 4 percent going to Beldini.

In a later meeting, the new indictment says, Healy and Beldini joked with Dwek about putting his application for a zoning change at the ?top of the pile.?

Edward Cheatam, the affirmative action officer for Hudson County and a commissioner on the Jersey City Housing Authority, pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right.

Cheatam, who took $15,000 in bribes, introduced Dwek to Shaw, who then set up a meeting with Healy and Beldini, according to the indictments.

-- Ashley Kindergan

Posted on: 2009/12/1 14:23
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Below is today's fuller media coverage of the latest indictments in the Jersey City government corruption case:


Beldini hit with new charges

[from PolitickerNJ.com]

A superseding federal corruption indictment against former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini further exposes the city's allegedly corrupt political underbelly.

Beldini, arrested in July and in August indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, now faces two additional counts of attempted extortion and three counts of taking bribes to allegedly help a developer win zoning approvals in the new indictment, which is dated November 19.

The developer turned out to be FBI informant Solomon Dwek.

Beldini allegedly took $20,000 of Dwek?s money and, through straw donors, funneled it into Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy?s reelection account and the Jersey City Democratic Committee. She also allegedly extracted a promise from Dwek to use her as the real estate agent for his purported development project on Garfield Avenue.

In one exchange with Dwek recounted in the indictment, Beldini, who was the treasurer for Healy?s reelection campaign, even gave him a brief tutorial on the practice of wheeling.

Beldini explained to Dwek why his $10,000 will be given to the Jersey City Democratic Committee instead of Healy?s campaign account (Healy, who has not been charged with a crime, is not identified in the indictment, but is easily identifiable as ?JC Official 1?).

?What we?re trying to do is put money into different funds so we can, when we need it, funnel it back into [JC Official 1]. Which everybody does. So this is for the Jersey City Democratic Committee,? she said.

The donations were purportedly ticket purchases for a Healy/JCDC fundraising event on March 28 called ?Broadway at the Beacon?

In a report filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC), that $10,000 appears in four $2,500 donations dated April 6, 2009 from four people who were associated with the corruption sting: Jack Shaw, a now-deceased political consultant who facilitated many of the meetings between Dwek and allegedly corrupt officials; Catherine Chin, his live-in girlfriend who has not been charged with a crime; Maher Khalil, the former Jersey City Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Director who pleaded guilty in September to taking $72,500 in bribes from Dwek; and E. Cheatam Associates, the company of former Hudson County affirmative action officer and Jersey City Housing Authority Commission Ed Cheatam, who also pleaded guilty to corruption charges in September.

Beldini allegedly told Dwek that Healy knew that the ticket purchases were funded by him and agreed with Dwek that Healy ?appreciates the way [the CW] does business.?

Later, Dwek gave another $10,000 to Shaw to place directly in Healy?s reelection account. That $10,000 is broken up into four more $2,500 donations from Shaw, Chin, E. Cheatam Associates, and Michael Schaffer, who remains a commissioner on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority despite his July arrest on corruption charges.

The indictment recounts two meetings at Jersey City restaurants between Dwek, Healy, Shaw and Cheatam.

At a March 13 meeting, Healy pointed out that Beldini, in addition to being one of his deputy mayors, owns a real estate company, and agreed with Dwek that it was a ?big benefit.?

At a later meeting, Dwek asked Healy to make sure his development applications were not put ?at the bottom of the pile.?

From the Beldini indictment: ?JC Official 1 laughed and said, ?Bottom of the pile or top of the pile?? Cheatam made clear that the CW ?wants to be on the top,? and defendant BELDINI said, ?Well, we can flip the pile.?

-- Matt Friedman

_______________________________________

Superseding indictment quotes former Jersey City deputy mayor as saying Healy knew about corrupt payments

[from "The Jersey Journal, "December 1, 2009, 5:35 a.m.]

The superseding indictment against former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini quotes her as saying Mayor Jerramiah Healy knew corrupt payments were being funneled from a man who turned out to be a cooperating witness for the feds.

"Defendant BELDINI confirmed that JC Official 1 (Healy) knew that the CW (cooperating witness) had funded the purchase of tickets to the JCDC?s (Jersey City Democratic Committee's) 'Broadway at the Beacon' event and agreed with the CW that JC Official 1 'appreciates the way [the CW] does business,''' the indictment, handed up last week, states.

Under the new indictment, Beldini, who had been previously charged with one count in the massive corruption sting, now faces six.

Healy, who hasn't been charged with any crimes and maintains he has done nothing wrong, is referred to in several places in the 21-page indictment.

Get the full story in today's Jersey Journal as well as excerpts of the indictment that mention Healy.

Posted on: 2009/12/1 14:13
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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The cheese gets a bit more binding. I would hate to be a 74-year old woman faced with many years of jail. I wonder what stories she might be able to tell?

Jersey City's former deputy mayor faces additional charges in corruption sting
By Joe Ryan/The Star-Ledger
November 30, 2009, 3:36PM

NEWARK ? A Jersey City deputy mayor faces additional charges in a federal indictment handed up in Newark in connection to this summer's sweeping corruption sting.

Leona Beldini is accused of promising to help a federal informant secure building approvals for a luxury condominium project in Jersey City in exchange for $20,000 in illicit campaign contributions to Jerramiah T. Healy, the city's mayor.

"I can definitely help you get through a lot of red tape," Beldini allegedly said, according to the indictment.

Healy has not been charged. The mayor plans to donate more than $27,000 -- representing the allegedly illicit donations -- to charity.

The indictment details a series of meetings earlier this year in Hudson County diners, luncheonettes and restaurants during which Beldini -- and on two occasions Healy -- allegedly discussed development projects and the mayoral campaign with the informant, Solomon Dwek.

Dwek, who began secretly recording conversations for the FBI after being charged in 2006 with bank fraud, said he wanted to build a roughly 750-unit condo building on Jersey City's Garfield Avenue. He claimed to need help expediting permits, authorities said.

Beldini, a real estate agent, also agreed to sell the informant's future condo units, authorities said. She was initially indicted in August on a single count of conspiracy to commit extortion. The new six-count indictment, handed up November 19, adds charges of attempted extortion and accepting things of value to influence and reward.

Beldini's lawyer, Brian J. Neary, said she would plead not guilty at an arraignment scheduled for Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

Beldini is suspended without pay from her job at Jersey City Hall. Her trial, scheduled for January, is likely to be the first to stem from the massive sting.

Posted on: 2009/11/30 21:33
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Jersey City councilman's campaign reports include FBI money

By Melissa Hayes/The Jersey Journal
November 11, 2009, 2:39PM

Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega recently updated his campaign finance reports to include $10,000 funnelled through an FBI cooperating witness. Vega is facing federal charges that he accepted $30,000 in bribes. Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega Jr. has updated his campaign finance reports to include $10,000 he received from FBI informants.

?There were some things that needed to be corrected,? Vega said after Tuesday?s council meeting.

Vega was one of 44 people the FBI charged as part of a massive corruption sting in July. While he resigned as council president, he maintained his at-large council seat, contending he is innocent.

The criminal complaint from the U.S. Attorney accuses Vega of meeting with the FBI?s cooperating witness several times and ultimately accepting three $10,000 payments, two of which were broken down by an intermediary and converted into campaign contributions and a third which was given after Vega?s May election victory.

An amended campaign finance report submitted to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission Oct. 28 reflects one of those $10,000 payments and lists the occupation of one of the contributors at ?FBI operative.?

When shown a copy of the contributions Tuesday, Vega said they appeared to be payments tied to the FBI operation.

He said he wasn?t planning to anything with the funds, just correcting mistakes on a previous campaign finance report to balance the account.

According to the criminal complaint, on or about May 26, the intermediary told the cooperating witness that he had converted $10,000 into four $2,500 checks, payable to ?Friends of Mariano Vega.?

The campaign submitted an amended June 2009 post-election filling last month, with the change being four $2,500 checks deposited on June 4. The first is from a Denis Janlow of North Bergen.

While there is no Denis Janlow named in the federal complaint, former Hudson County Board of Elections investigator Denis Jaslow, of Wall, was named and pleaded guilty in September to accepting $15,000 in bribes.

The second is from Vinnie Tabbachino, a former Guttenberg councilman and owner of a tax preparation business. His occupation is listed as FBI operative.

Tabbachino was charged with serving as a middleman for Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, who allegedly took $10,000 in bribes. In addition he is accused of laundering $100,000 in cash from what Tabbachino believed was a counterfeit handbag business.

The other two checks are attributed to George Awad Ibrahim of Astoria, New York and Samia Ghattas of Hackensack. Those individuals were not named in the federal complaint.

Posted on: 2009/11/12 4:06
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Re: Several local politicians arrested on corruption charges
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I second that T-Bird! Healy , Vaga and Beldini start packing up your desks. January couldn't come fast enough.

T-Bird wrote:
This can't bode well for the local accused and suspected:

Sources: Ralph Marra to be named state attorney general in Jan.

From the Hudson Reporter

STATEWIDE -- Knowledgeable Republican sources say that newly-elected Gov. Christopher Christie will name U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra as New Jersey?s new attorney general in January, after Christie is sworn in.

Marra was instrumental in many of the political corruption investigations that Christie had started when Christie was U.S. Attorney. Christie resigned from that post last year to run for governor.[/quote]

Posted on: 2009/11/5 1:24
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Re: Several local politicians arrested on corruption charges
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This can't bode well for the local accused and suspected:

Sources: Ralph Marra to be named state attorney general in Jan.

From the Hudson Reporter

STATEWIDE -- Knowledgeable Republican sources say that newly-elected Gov. Christopher Christie will name U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra as New Jersey?s new attorney general in January, after Christie is sworn in.

Marra was instrumental in many of the political corruption investigations that Christie had started when Christie was U.S. Attorney. Christie resigned from that post last year to run for governor.

Posted on: 2009/11/4 19:52
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Re: Attorneys: Informant duped the feds, framed public officials
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These attorneys are doing what their suppose to be doing and that is light a fire elsewhere to distract from the B-Bags their defending.

Good try, but the public doesn't buy that crap!!!

Posted on: 2009/10/21 14:10
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Attorneys: Informant duped the feds, framed public officials
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Attorneys: Informant duped the feds, framed public officials

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Brian T. Murray
STAR-LEDGER STAFF

Lawyers for the public officials ensnared in a federal corruption sting lambasted the plea deal made in court yesterday by the government informant, who they say duped federal authorities into framing "innocent people" to avoid a long jail term.

Solomon Dwek pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark to a $50 million bank fraud under a deal by which prosecutors have agreed not to pursue any other charges.

Dwek later pleaded guilty in state Superior Court in Monmouth County to one count of misconduct by a corporate official.

"The U.S. attorneys gave him his Chanukah gift early this year. He's looking realistically at getting only five years (in prison) and that is pretty lenient," said attorney Peter Willis, who is representing Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith and Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega.

Two New Jersey legislators, three mayors, and multiple appointed and elected officials were among 44 arrested in July, after Solomon Dwek wrapped up 29 months as an FBI informant. He posed as a developer, surreptitiously recording conversations and alleged payoffs to officials involving proposed projects, and he recorded several rabbis in New York and New Jersey, along with others in their religious community, regarding alleged money laundering schemes.

The lawyers contend Dwek fabricated cases for the FBI, all in hopes of avoiding a lengthy prison term.

"I think a jury will look at the tapes and at Dwek, and they will come to the conclusion that the only one guilty of criminal conduct is Dwek. He is one of the most vilified criminal defendants we've had in the last decade, and the government wants to erase all of his bad conduct -- even things he has not been charged with -- to make him their star witness," said Robert Fuggi, a lawyer for Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt.

Other lawyers said Dwek's own misdeeds, which are still being untangled by federal prosecutors, tower over the alleged crimes of their clients and tapes in the corruption case show Dwek pushing money on people -- not public officials asking him for payoffs.

"When there is an undercover informant, he's supposed to be uncovering crime that is going on. In the case of Assemblyman Van Pelt and many others, that was not going on. Dwek fabricated the crime, not uncovered the crime. He was the instigator of the crime, and he tried to entrap Van Pelt and others," said Fuggi.

Prosecutors, however, regularly point out entrapment defenses seldom succeed in court.

Willis said federal prosecutors may attempt to try some clients without Dwek to avoid opening a "Pandora's box." That would be difficult and unusual, said several former federal prosecutors.

"He almost has to testify," said John J. Fahy, former political corruption chief at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark.

For jurors to hear the tapes of alleged bribes, someone must testify they are legitimate, and Dwek is apt to be the best one to do it, said Mark Rufalo, former head of the organized crime strike force at the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Brian T. Murray may be reached at (973) 392-4153 or

bmurray@starledger.com.

Posted on: 2009/10/21 9:22
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Solomon Dwek expected to plead guilty: report
By The Jersey Journal
October 19, 2009, 11:44PM



Solomon Dwek, the wired witness for the federal government in the massive New Jersey corruption sting, is expected to take the Newark walk of shame himself tomorrow, pleading guilty to charges in connection with a $50 million bank fraud, the Star-Ledger is reporting on its Web site.

The 2006 scheme is how Dwek originally came to the attention of federal prosecutors, who then turned him into an informant.

As such, Dwek snared 45 people, including an array of Hudson County politicians, on charges ranging from political corruption to money laundering.

Of the 45, so far seven -- all from Hudson -- have pleaded guilty.

Those who have been arrested and say they are innocent include the former mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus.

Dwek, 36, is to plead guilty first in federal court, the Ledger said, quoting a source familiar with the investigation. Later in the day, he is expected to be in Superior Court in Monmouth County to plead to similar state charges.
Full coverage of the New Jersey corruption probe
Officials at the U.S. Attorney?s office issued an advisory saying only that "a central figure" in the July 23 arrests of 43 people on public corruption and money laundering charges would appear in federal court before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark. A spokesman for the office declined to answer questions and Dwek?s attorney did not return calls to his office.
Dwek was initially arrested on the fraud charges in May 2006 after he deposited a bogus $25.2 million check into a closed PNC Bank account he controlled, the Ledger said. According to the original criminal complaint, Dwek went to a drive-in window at the bank?s Eatontown branch. The check was drawn on an account he controlled, but the account had been closed and had no money in it.
Dwek assured a reluctant PNC employee that "corporate" had agreed to reopen the account and that funds to cover the check would soon arrive by wire transfer, the complaint alleged.
With those assurances, Dwek was allowed to deposit the check into a second account he controlled.
The next morning, the Ledger said, he began spending the money, even though the promised wire transfer to cover the check had never been made, according to the complaint. He made four payments totaling $22.8 million. The largest was made to HSBC Bank to cover a loan in the name of Dwek and a fellow investor.
When PNC discovered the fraud, they called authorities.
Following his arrest, Dwek apparently spent 29 months as a cooperating witness, setting up rabbis and others in the religious community, as well as mayors, political candidates and public officials in an undercover sting operation that prosecutors have called unprecedented in its scope.
Dwek is described in nearly every criminal complaint and every indictment as a "cooperating witness who had been charged with bank fraud" but his name never appears. And he has not appeared publicly in court since the sting broke.
The first trial for those accused in the corruption sting is scheduled for January, and Dwek is expected to be the main witness in the case.
Any cooperation agreement would likely be the focus of vigorous grilling by defense attorneys, the Ledger noted.

Posted on: 2009/10/20 4:27
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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BUT WHEN WILL HEALY BE CAUGHT & EPPS???

Posted on: 2009/10/12 14:57
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"Jersey Journal" Editorial

Toll rises to 45 in corruption scandal
by The Jersey Journal
October 12, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

The legacy of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy is not being written in letters but in numbers -- those used for court dockets and prisoner identification.

The Healy administration, including the City Council majority, showed more rot at its foundation on Tuesday.

There was a big unpleasant surprise for the mayor, the city, and this newspaper. Ward B Councilman Philip Kenny pleaded guilty to taking $5,000 in bribes as illegal campaign contributions. Kenny was not among the 44 arrested in the massive New Jersey corruption and money laundering federal investigation. His name was not on any federal complaints but he is now the 45th defendant. It was like a left-hook no one saw coming.

Kenny had a reputation for working to help people as a West Side Avenue aide to Hudson County Freeholder William O'Dea. He exuded sincerity and was considered by many as honest. This newspaper endorsed his candidacy in the May municipal election. The one factor against him was that he was on the Healy ticket, but there was some hope that he would show an independent streak on the City Council.

Now, there is a suspicion that the secrecy surrounding Kenny's involvement in this corruption investigation may suggest that the rookie councilman, who was in office only six months, has bolstered the U.S. Attorney's corruption cases or possibly others that may still be pending. It is pure conjecture, to date.

After it was learned that Kenny was the weekly star for federal court in Newark, a silly thing happened. City Councilman Mariano Vega sent a letter to the City Clerk's Office announcing he was "temporarily" resigning as president of the council. If the situation was not so serious, his "resignation" would be laughable.

Vega was among the 44 handcuffed by the FBI in July on corruption and money laundering cokplaints. He is stepping down as president until he is exonerated from the corruption charges. Vega remains on the council so it is difficult to understand how dropping a meaningless title achieves anything for himself or the city.

Why not just resign?

Vega does not control the majority on the panel. Healy does -- unless the City Council's actions are not to the liking of Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise. After all, too many of the city lawmakers are also on the county payroll and serve two masters.

The mayor has selected a replacement for Kenny, his own mayoral aide, David Donnelly. This week, the City Council will do the bidding of the boss and vote for Donnelly. Except for Downtown Councilman Steven Fulop and only occasionally Councilwoman Viola Richardson, the local governing body is a city joke. One council member pleaded guilty, another is prepared to go to trial for taking bribes, and another is trying to prove in court that she was a city resident when she won her seat in May.

It is difficult for the city to live with the fact that this gang's term in office still has more than three years to go. Before it ends, it should be considered the worst administration in the city's history -- including those where mayors have been incarcerated.

Posted on: 2009/10/12 14:23
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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And she too pleads GUILTY!

JJ link...

Posted on: 2009/10/8 20:05
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Former candidate Webb-Washington, charged in corruption sting, appears in court
By Ron Zeitlinger/The Jersey Journal
October 08, 2009, 12:31PM

Former City Council candidate LaVern Webb-Washington, charged in the massive corruption sting in July, is making an appearance in federal court in Newark right now, Jersey Journal reporter Michaelangelo Conte reports from the courthouse.

Webb-Washington made an unsuccessful run for the Ward F City Council seat, which was won by incumbent Viola Richardson. In July, Webb-Washington was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of officials right. She is accused of accepting $15,000 for her campaign in three installments of $5,000.

At his plea hearing on September 18, former Jersey City Housing Authority commissioner Edward Cheatam told the court he introduced Solomon Dwek, a federal informant posing as a developer, to several officials and candidates, including Webb-Washington.

On Tuesday Jersey City Ward B Councilman Philip Kenny pleaded guilty to taking $5,000 in bribes. He is the sixth Hudson County public official to plead guilty in the investigation revolving around informant Solomon Dwek. The others are Guy Catrillo, Maher Khalil, Edward Cheatam, Denis Jaslow and Jimmy King.

Posted on: 2009/10/8 17:32
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Tick-tock, tick-tock...


Another Hudson political figure charged in corruption sting due in court

[from "The Jersey Journal," October 8, 2009, 10:42 a.m.]

The parade of Hudson County political figures headed to the federal courthouse in Newark continues today.

One of the people charged on July 23 in the massive corruption sting will make an appearance in Newark at 12:15 today.

On Tuesday Jersey City Ward B Councilman Philip Kenny pleaded guilty to taking $5,000 in bribes. He is the sixth Hudson County public official to plead guilty in the investigation revolving around informant Solomon Dwek. The others are Guy Catrillo, Maher Khalil, Edward Cheatam, Denis Jaslow and Jimmy King.

-- Ron Zeitlinger

Posted on: 2009/10/8 16:40
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This can't bode well for Healy and cronies - Christie is going to have to really step up the pace of arrests, convictions, etc. to keep from falling behind... What an odd dichotomy: Healy supports Corzine, Corzine goes easy on Healy and his lackies - yet the better Corzine does, the greater the peril for Healy.

Gov. Jon Corzine pulls even with Chris Christie in N.J. Gov race, poll shows
By Chris Megerian/Statehouse Bureau
October 06, 2009, 1:45PM

TRENTON -- Gov. Jon Corzine is neck-and-neck in the polls with Republican challenger Chris Christie for the first time, according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University report released today.

Despite Corzine's 38 percent job approval rating, he has gone from five points behind in September to one point ahead this month, with 44 percent of likely voters supporting the governor and 43 percent backing Christie.
Four percent of respondents said they will vote for independent candidate Chris Daggett.

The poll's margin of error is 4 percent, and both Democrats and Republicans downplayed the results.

"The only thing that matters is the poll on Election Day,'' Corzine said after a forum at the Trenton Marriott.

He said the numbers were moving in his favor because of the candidates' differing views on health care and children's issues.

"We have been begun to establish dramatic contrasts between the candidates," he said. "When the public finds out the contrasts, I think it is changing their perspective on the election.''

Christie said he's still confident of victory on Election Day and said his campaign is doing well given Corzine's funding advantage and the state's heavily Democratic electorate.

"We're in a dog fight. Who would have predicted that?" he said. "I should be dead and buried by now."

Christie, speaking at a press conference in the Statehouse, said the poll is not evidence of momentum shifting to Corzine.

"I'm out there everyday and I don't feel it," he said. "It's time to kick Jon Corzine out. That's the message people are giving me."

Daggett said he's counting on voters to give him a fair shake.

"This campaign can change in a heartbeat because the support for both candidates is very soft," he said. "If people said just once, we will vote for what I believe is the right thing, I would win this election in a walk."

Brigid Harrison, a political scientist at Montclair State University, said the poll shows Corzine is gaining steam among female voters with his positions in favor of health insurance mandates, abortion rights and paid family leave.

Harrison said Corzine's deep pockets were also turning the tide.

"[Christie's] YouTube ads are clever, but they're not hitting a really broad audience," she said. "I'm seeing many more Corzine ads in both media markets, New York and Philadelphia."

Harrison said the pressure is increasingly on Christie to reverse his trajectory in the polls.

"Typically after Labor Day the Democrats start to pull ahead in the polls," she said. "It's more up to Christie and his campaign to shift the momentum."

Peter Woolley, who directs the Fairleigh Dickinson poll, said there's evidence that Democrats are beginning to rally around Corzine.

?Corzine is still swimming upstream against heavy currents,? he said. ?Many Democrats are voting for him despite their misgivings.?

Posted on: 2009/10/7 16:06
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You are right IWitness, wording was a little unclear coming out of city hall. But Vega resigns ONLY his council president position; NOT his at-large seat.

Posted on: 2009/10/6 20:06
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
It will be awfully interesting to find out who the unnamed "Jersey City Official" is....


I predict Vega. It can't be a conicidence that he stepped down on the same day.

Posted on: 2009/10/6 20:06
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jcindependent wrote:
Vega has finally put in his resignation, he leaves Friday; Kenny will have to step down too as a result of his plea.


Stepping down from the City Council, or from his position as Council President?

The way Healy's statement reads, it sounds like the latter.

Posted on: 2009/10/6 20:04
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Vega has finally put in his resignation, he leaves Friday; Kenny will have to step down too as a result of his plea.

Posted on: 2009/10/6 19:54
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Also, no arrest, no perp walk, no complaint, just silence until pleading guilty? He must've been talking to the FBI. Wonder what he disclosed.

Posted on: 2009/10/6 19:17
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Re: Jersey City Government Corruption Scandal - 16 arrested
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Like I've said before, paying Vega off only buys one vote. How many councilmembers have been voting yes on those sweet deals for developers again?

I'd prefer one fell swoop but one by one gets it done just as well.

And don't forget, November 3rd is less than a month away with a neck and neck race between Christie and Corzine. Next couple weeks could be interesting.

Posted on: 2009/10/6 19:12
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