Federal agents arrest 44 including politicians in New Jersey corruption probe

[JURIST] The FBI arrested and charged 44 people [press release; complaints, PDF] on a variety of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and corruption counts Thursday, including several local politicians. The FBI said that the investigation, which began as an investigation of a money laundering ring run by rabbis operating between New Jersey and Israel, only began to focus on public corruption when a cooperating witness went undercover and began contacting local politicians. Those charged include [NYT report] Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, State Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, Jersey City City Council President Antonio Vega [official profiles], and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini. New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine [official profile] said [press release], "[a]ny corruption is unacceptable - anywhere, anytime, by anybody. The scale of corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated." Those arrested arraigned Thursday afternoon.

A number of public figures have faced corruption charges recently. Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojavich [JURIST news archive] was indicted [JURIST report] in April on corruption charges. In February, two Pennsylvania judges pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to accepting kickbacks in exchange for sentencing juveniles to certain facilities. FBI director Robert Mueller [official profile] said in April of last year that the FBI was investigating 2,500 public corruption cases [JURIST report], a 50 percent increase from five years prior.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.