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As you may have heard, today the sword fell on John Corea.
An Ocean County judge delivered a sentence 7 years in the slammer- state prison and a $300,000 restitution to Hoboken. This surprised a lawyer friend of mine who called it a "tough" sentence, "significant considering it was a plea deal" and though it was possibly because Corea "didn't cooperate" much.
And a plea it was: on December 19, 2011, Corea plead guilty to the theft of 600K from Hoboken parking meters. From Patch:
According to the Attorney General, Corea admitted that, as director of the Hoboken Parking Utility, he steered three separate no-bid contracts to United Textile Fabricators to collect, count and manage the coins from the city’s parking meters. He admitted that he made false statements to the city council about the qualifications and experience of the company, which is a coin-operated arcade game manufacturer.GA's observation back then was how quickly the Corea plea came after Patrick Ricciardi's arrest- just 5 weeks.
He further admitted that he came to believe that United Textile and its owner, Brian Petaccio, 51, of Toms River, had stolen a substantial amount of the city’s parking revenues, but didn't notify the city.
Petaccio pleaded guilty on Sept. 30, 2009 to stealing $1.1 million from Hoboken parking meters between June 2005 and April 2008.
A rather sudden turnabout from Corea's decision to wait for a trial... the criminal complaint had been languishing for 2 years. Until...
Ricciardi's lips started moving.
Or so one would think. Because each individual email copied in the Ricciardi 'Archive' carries a separate charge of 'unauthorized interception of electronic communications', and with an estimate 100,000 emails (give or take) at 5 years a pop...
For those reading tea leaves, it may seem like they've dried and blown away.
GA is no longer asked, "When are they coming?" Instead it's "ARE they coming?"
Well, as the FBI says on it's site:
FBI investigations vary in length. Once our investigation is complete, we forward the findings to the U.S. Attorney’s Office within the local jurisdiction and to the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., which decide whether or not to proceed toward prosecution and handle any prosecutions that follow.Have any findings been referred to the NJ Attorney General and/or US Attorney for consideration?
GA imagines in our 'target rich environment' they have a smorgasbord of crimes to pick and choose from. Or not.
Remember Jersey City Official Lori Serrano's indictment for mail fraud last December? Already busted in Bid Rig 3 for taking cash from FBI informant Solomon Dwek, the Feds circled around for a second hit- mail fraud- because Serrano submitted inaccurate ELEC reports by mail. Someone familiar with her case said the Feds did this because she was 'uncooperative'.
Well, in Hoboken, this kind of crime is just low-hanging fruit.
Brazen ELEC violations documented, certified by the candidate and sent by mail or electronically.
Like street money.
NJ statute 19:44A-11.7 prohibits candidates from distributing actual currency, or hard cash, to individual workers. Campaigns are prohibited from issuing bank checks made out to cash, which the law considers the functional equivalent of cash. Violations of the 'street money statute' rise to the level of a fourth degree felony and are punishable by a prison sentence of 18 months.If the disbursement of street money- cash, can be ascertained from a campaign's ELEC reports, then presumably the NJ Attorney General or Hudson County Prosecutor could press charges.
If that same ELEC report is sent by the U.S. Postal Service or electronically, then the U.S. Attorney could pursue a mail fraud charge- a federal offense punishable by a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Umm... back to low hanging fruit...
Take a certified ELEC:
...citing dozens of checks made out to 'cash'...
...and evidence that multiple individuals were paid off the same check...
... and submitted by mail or wire.
All it would take is the will of the Feds, the NJ Attorney General, or the U.S. Attorney to pluck this low hanging banana off the tree.
GA wonders how the coming election factors into all of this- if it does. Well, here's what we know.
The State sent a message with a tough sentence for the man who brought change from Hoboken.