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Thread: Just Another Thursday in Jersey

  1. #1
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Just Another Thursday in Jersey

    The bust includes a key member of Gov Corzine's staff.

    44 arrested in N.J. corruption probe
    Suspects include rabbis, mayors; probe involved black-market kidneys

    NEWARK, N.J. - An investigation into the sale of black-market kidneys and fake Gucci handbags evolved into a sweeping probe of political corruption in New Jersey, ensnaring more than 40 people Thursday, including three mayors, two state lawmakers and several rabbis.

    Even for a state with a rich history of graft, the scale of wrongdoing alleged was breathtaking. An FBI official called corruption "a cancer that is destroying the core values of this state."

    Federal prosecutors said the investigation initially focused on a money laundering network that operated between Brooklyn, N.Y.; Deal, N.J.; and Israel. The network is alleged to have laundered tens of millions of dollars through Jewish charities controlled by rabbis in New York and New Jersey.

    All but one are Democrats
    Among the 44 people arrested were the mayors of Hoboken, Ridgefield and Secaucus, Jersey City's deputy mayor, and two state assemblymen. A member of the governor's cabinet resigned after agents searched his home, though he was not arrested. All but one of the officeholders are Democrats.

    Also, five rabbis from New York and New Jersey ? two of whom lead congregations in Deal ? were accused of laundering millions of dollars, some of it from the sale of counterfeit goods and bankruptcy fraud, authorities said.

    Those arrested include:

    • Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano III, charged with accepting $25,000 in cash bribes from an undercover cooperating witness.
    • Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith, charged along with an aide of taking $15,000 in bribes to help get approvals from high-level state agency officials for building projects.
    • Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, charged with accepting a $10,000 bribe.
    • Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, charged with taking a $10,000 bribe.
    • Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, charged with agreeing to accept a $10,000 corrupt cash payment for his legal defense fund.
    • Former Assemblyman Louis Manzo, charged with taking $27,500 in corrupt cash payments for use in his failed Jersey City mayoral campaign.
    • Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, charged with taking $20,000 in illegal campaign contributions.
    • Eliahu Ben Haim, a rabbi at a synagogue in Deal, N.J., charged with money laundering.
    • Saul Kassin, the chief rabbi of a synagogue in Brooklyn, charged with money laundering.
    • Edmund Nahum, the principal rabbi of a synagogue in Deal, charged with money laundering.
    • Mordchai Fish, a rabbi at a synagogue in Brooklyn, charged with money laundering of proceeds derived from criminal activity. His brother Albert Schwartz, also a rabbi, was charged as well.

    Those arrested included Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, who was charged with conspiring to arrange the sale of an Israeli citizen's kidney for $160,000 for a transplant for the informant's fictitious uncle. Rosenbaum was quoted as saying he had been arranging the sale of kidneys for 10 years.
    Life's not the breaths you take, the breathing in and out that gets you through the day ain't what it's all about. It's the moments that take your breath away.

  2. #2
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just Another Thursday in Jersey

    Dah ! Today's roundup brings the total to close to 175 politicians that have been busted, pleaded guilty or are facing trial for corruption over the past 10 years.

    Jersey: The Most Politically Corrupt Place on Earth

    By Jennifer Millman
    NBCNewYork.com

    New Jersey didn't invent corruption, but there sure is enough in state politics to go around.

    Maybe it's because local politics get lost in the massive media markets of New York and Philadelphia. Maybe it's because so many small towns run a patchwork of municipalities that officials think they can get away with skimming off the top. Maybe it's because the voters don't know --or care -- what they're doing.

    Whatever the reason, corruption is commonplace in the country's 11th most populous state -- so much so that local papers have entire sections of their Web sites dedicated to the subject.

    On Thursday, dozens of politicians, including the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, as well as a handful of rabbis, were arrested by feds in a wide ranging probe that included bribery, money laundering and human organ trafficking. Here are just a few other notable corruption scandals in the Garden State over the past decade.
    • July 2009: Prosecutors allege Assemblyman and former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas engaged in a scheme with a political adviser to funnel money through people who were given funds to make contributions. Vas was already accused of using his political influence to further a real estate deal that netted him nearly $300,000.
    • September 2007: Two mayors, Samuel Rivera of Passaic and State Assemblyman Mims Hackett Jr. of Orange, and Assemblyman Alfred E. Steele were three of 11 public officials busted for taking cash bribes of $1,500 to $17,500 at a time from insurance brokerage and roofing companies in exchange for public contracts. Five current and former school board members and a city councilman were also charged.
    • July 2007: Sharpe James, former mayor of Newark, New Jersey's largest city, for 21 years, opted not to run for re-election in April of 2007. Shortly thereafter, a federal investigation began into the sale of city lands and his use of city credit cards. He was indicted on July 12.
    • July 2007: William Walker, former director of housing rehabilitation for the City of New Brunswick was arrested and charged in a 54-count indictment with extorting and accepting approximately $112,500 in corrupt cash payments, as well as cut-rate home improvements, in exchange for official favors.
    • January 2007: Former Brick Township Mayor Joseph Scarpelli took more than $5,000 in cash in exchange for pushing for approval of a developer.
    • April 2005: Ex-Marlboro Matthew Scannapieco pleaded guilty to taking $245,000 in bribes in exchange for awarding public contracts to builders.
    • April 2005: Nicknamed "Mr. Monmouth County" after serving the region almost 50 years, Harry Larrison Jr. was charged with asking developers to pay for a trip to Florida, among other expenses.
    • February 2005: Former Middletown Township Mayor Ray O'Grady was videotaped taking bribes from an undercover FBI agent.
    • September 2004: Former Hoboken Mayor Anthony Russo was convicted for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a city accountant and a city towing business owner during his two terms as mayor in exchange for contracts. He was ordered to pay back more than $300,000 and sentenced to more than two years in prison.
    • January 2004: Detective Norman Price was charged with stealing equipment purchases and created companies to provide equipment at grossly inflated prices.
    • January 2004: Former Essex County Executive James Treffinger served a 130-month prison term after admitting that he used county funds to pay Republican campaign workers and obstructing a federal probe into his campaign finances.
    • January 2004: Mayor of Hainesport Ronald Corn embezzled more than $339,000 from public accounts to pay for golf outings, parties, meals and expenses in cahoots with the township of finance director, Kristine Wisnewski.
    • June 2003: Former New Hanover Township Administrator James J. Nash pleaded guilty to causing fabricated vendors' quotes to be submitted to the New Hanover Township Board of Education to steer a federally funded 1999 contract to a relative of another township official.
    • May 2003: Former Essex County Executive Jim Treffinger plead guilty to a slew of graft charges.
    • December 2002: Hudson County Official Bill Braker asked a doctor who was trying to score a contract with the county to provide health-care services for cash and unlimited prescriptions for Viagra.
    • December 2002: Richard Vuola, a former Malboro Township official, was charged with offering about $150,000 in campaign funding to a member of the Marlboro Township Council in exchange for support of land-use ordinances necessary to allow development of property at the former Marlboro Airport site.
    • November 2002: Sen. Bob Torricelli had to drop his re-election bid after the Senate Ethics Committee detailed his improper relationship with a donor.
    • October 2002: Former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski admitted to taking more than $100,000 in bribes while he was the county's top elected official. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison and $40,000 in fines.
    • June 2002: Former North Bergen Township administrator and North Bergen Municipal Utilities Authority director of operations Joseph Auriemma was indicted for accepting more than $35,000 in cash payments and free work on his residences and for attempted witness tampering.
    • April 2002: Former Burlington Township mayor Joseph Foy operated a for-profit golf tournament to benefit himself. The proceeds were deposited into his personal bank accounts and used for personal expenses. Foy failed to report the income on his tax returns and got busted by the IRS for tax evasion.
    • December 2000: Former Camden mayor Milton Milan was convicted of various corruption charges, including soliciting bribes from mobsters and staging a fake burglary to commit fraud.
    Life's not the breaths you take, the breathing in and out that gets you through the day ain't what it's all about. It's the moments that take your breath away.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Just Another Thursday in Jersey

    Glad to have the spotlight off Illinois for awhile!
    "All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind." -- Abraham Lincoln

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    Default Re: Just Another Thursday in Jersey

    RYou, we will trade you 1 California Governor for 2 Mayors, 1 Assemblymen and a Rabbi to be named later.

  5. #5
    Olympic Champ RYou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just Another Thursday in Jersey

    I'll go Gov for Gov. The guy we got is killing us.

    He now wants to tax rainfall and water consumption to fund construction of new sewage treatment plants, for the urban cities of course. X cents per fraction of inch of rainfall on the basis rainfall increases the cost of sewage treatment. It would then be tied to the volume of water you consume. In combination we would be taxed for both based on how much it rains. It's totally illogical and would not generate a stable flow of funds since rainfall varies annually. This year we would have paid double the tax we would have been taxed for the same period last year.

    He just raised the tax on wine 1.00 be bottle and spirits 1.75 per bottle. We are not even into this one 30 days and already the liquor store owners near the NY, PA and DE borders are reporting a 50% loss of sales attributable to folks driving out of state to make the purchase - particularly Delaware with no sale tax at all. The alcohol associations have calculated the tax is actually reducing net income to the state because so many are crossing the border. They project a net loss to the state in the area of $30 million. Same for the new cigarette tax.
    Life's not the breaths you take, the breathing in and out that gets you through the day ain't what it's all about. It's the moments that take your breath away.

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