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FBI uncovers unprecedented level of corruption in New Jersey.


CofCC.org News Team

FBI makes 44 arrests in massive money laundering/public corruption case. The arrested include three mayors, city council members, and five Rabbis.

From CNN..

At least three New Jersey mayors, other public officials and five rabbis were among 44 people arrested Thursday in a federal investigation of public corruption and money laundering.
Hoboken, New Jersey, Mayor Peter Cammarano III is among those arrested in the public corruption probe.

Hoboken, New Jersey, Mayor Peter Cammarano III and New Jersey Assembly members Daniel Van Pelt and L. Harvey Smith were among those arrested, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Newark, New Jersey.

Federal officials also accused five rabbis, including the national leader of the Syrian Jewish community, of laundering more than $3 million, said acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra Jr.

In total, people paid more than $650,000 in bribes to New Jersey public officials, he said.

Investigators charged one man with conspiring to broker — for a fee of $160,000 — the sale of a human kidney for transplant.

Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn, New York, offered to obtain a kidney — in return for the fee — for an undercover FBI agent and confidential witness working for authorities, a criminal complaint said.

The arrests for public corruption and money laundering underscore “the pervasive nature of corruption in this state,” Marra said.

Investigators searched about 20 locations in New Jersey and New York to recover “large sums of cash and other evidence of criminal conduct,” prosecutors said in a news release. They also executed 28 seizure warrants against bank accounts that they believe were involved in laundering money.

A federal criminal complaint alleges that Cammarano, 32, a Democrat, took about $35,000 in bribes from a government witness posing as a real estate developer.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Smith, 60, and an aide took $15,000 in bribes “to help get approvals from high-level state agency officials for building projects.”

Another complaint alleges that Van Pelt, a Republican, accepted $10,000 in cash as “consulting fees” after an FBI official posing as a real-estate executive asked him to help fast-track a real estate project in Waretown, New Jersey, a section in Van Pelt’s district. Van Pelt, 44, also is mayor of Ocean Township.

Others arrested in the public corruption portion of the investigation include Secaucus, New Jersey, Mayor Dennis Elwell, 64, who is president of a family-owned trucking company; Ridgefield, New Jersey, Mayor Anthony Suarez, 42; and Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini, 74, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

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