US Attny Charges JC Council Candidate with Mail Fraud

Here's an interesting development in the F.B.I.'s current foray into Hudson County corruption.   

Former Jersey City Council candidate Lori Serrano was just hit with a second superseding indictment that charges her with mail fraud. 'Superseding' means on TOP of charges she was facing from the F.B.I.'s 2009 Bid Rig 3 arrest that scooped up Hoboken Mayor Peter Camaranno.

The indictment alleges Serrano's campaign sent 'intentionally-inaccurate' ELEC reports by mail to NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission with Serrano's knowledge.

That should send chills down a few Hoboken spines. For a couple of reasons.

It signals the seriousness and depth of the ongoing Bid Rig investigation, that the F.B.I. has circled back in 2011 to someone indicted in 2009  (for accepting a Dwek's illegal campaign contributions)  to charge them now for a fraudulent election report submitted in 2009.  Likewise, the choice to prosecute this under the federal statute for mail fraud- a serious offense carrying stiff penalties.
Mail fraud is a federal crime. Under Title 18 of the United States Code Section 1341, anyone who schemes to defraud another in almost any manner through the use of the Postal Service, is guilty of committing mail fraud, and can face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

The crime of mail fraud is a serious one, but it is also a very broad crime. Any crime which in some way utilizes the Postal Service may come within the law, and can suddenly become both a state and federal crime.
The Serrano mail fraud indictment sends a message loud and clear: that this US District Attorney, Paul Fishman, and NJ's Attorney General are intent on prosecuting election fraud in Hudson County.

Can anyone think of a recent election in Hoboken that might have caused a pile of criminal complaints to have been referred to the NJ Attorney General's office?

Oh, THAT one!

The November 2010 4th Ward Special election that gifted us with Tim Occhipinti.  According to
Red Flags: How much does it cost to buy an election in Hoboken's 4th ward?

Outgoing Hoboken Councilman Michael Lenz's supporters say it costs about $22,000.

That's how much his opponent Tim Occhipinti spent on "campaign workers" to win Ward 4's Council seat in November. What's unusual about that? Well, nothing, until you consider that there were about 575 of them, and that for all that Election Day "field" help there was little Occhipinti campaign presence visible on 4th Ward streets (say the Lenz folks). And that Occhipinti paid 575 workers for an election in which only 2,076 people cast ballots (Lenz Election Day paid workers = 17). Most alarming is a spike - a big one - in vote-by-mail ballots, and who it was who turned them in: overwhelmingly it was Occhipinti's "campaign workers". Hoboken Ward 4 absentee voting dwarfs that of every other election in Hudson County, according to the Hudson Clerk's figures. The county prosecutor's office recently referred 190 vote-by-mail ballots to the state Attorney General's office, though it's not known if any investigation concerns the Lenz campaign's allegations.
Aye Carumba!

190 VBMs from a 2010 election sitting in Trenton.  The FBI circling back to nail a fraudulent ELEC submission from 2009.  2 years later.

What do YOU think the Feds will do with our 4th Ward situation?  Nothing?

I doubt it.

The Occhipinti Blizzard of 2010

Politickernj is reporting that the charge was tossed on by virtue of a clarification to court precedent.

OK, whatever. Good job!


  1. Is the jc heights part of our freeholder race or is it union city? The first race yrs back there was a spike in one election site up there, i think at 8:00 at night??

  2. It's Jersey City, pretty sure it's the Heights.

  3. I'm very disappointed that the CC has yet to follow up on the AG investigation from last November's criminal referrals. Yesterday was one year. It was supposed to get monthly follow-up from corporation council. This resolution passed 8-0, with only Bhalla abstaining.

    Minutes from 12/1/2010 Council Meeting.

    WHEREAS, the Citizens of the City of Hoboken have the right to cast their votes and have their votes counted; and,
    WHEREAS, the Citizens of the City of Hoboken deserve fair, honest and open campaigns and elections; and,
    WHEREAS, there have been significant allegations of election fraud during the recent 4th Ward City Council elections that took place on November 2, 2010; and
    WHEREAS, the Mike Lenz for Council campaign provided information to the Hudson County Board of Elections with respect to allegations of election fraud (the “Lenz Information “); and,
    WHEREAS, Marie Borace, the Hudson County Superintendant of Elections, conducted an independent investigation of said allegations and prepared a report with respect to its findings (the “Superintendent of Elections Report”); and,
    WHEREAS, the Hudson County Board of Elections referred both the Lenz Information and the Superintendent of Elections Report to the Hudson County Prosecutor for further review; and,
    WHEREAS, the Hudson County Prosecutor referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Office of the State of New Jersey; and,
    WHEREAS, the City Council seeks to re-instill trust in the election process in Hoboken.
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council does hereby request that the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey fully investigate the issues raised by the Lenz Information and the Superintendent’s Report in an effort to determine the truth of these allegations and to return the public trust; and,
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council calls on all people in possession of any evidence of wrongdoing to turn said evidence over to the Attorney General as quickly as possible, if they have not already done so; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City’s Corporation Council make regular inquiries as to the status of the investigation and assist the Attorney General’s Office in any way possible to fully and expeditiously resolve the issues, and Corporation Counsel shall provide a status report to the City Council on at least a monthly basis; and
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be forwarded to New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow.

    I haven't heard one such report.

  4. what is it with these housing authority is it that it attracts these type people.....i call it the money pit....there must "not" be good accounting with these federal agencys....somethings up...I also noticed at the last council meeting in-accurate moneys for the repair of m johnson field....they need a finger print audit over there in hoboken

  5. Rich people like Mrs Richard Mason get away with murder. ALWAYS, almost always. Everything has a price. There's always a crook who'll take the bribe and turn the head the other way. Who knows how high in the sky their money goes.


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