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Operation Bid Rig 3 – 2 out of 44 plea guilty September 9, 2009

Posted by tsclaw2209 in News.

That was quick huh? Two of the forty-four arrested as part of Operation Bid Rig Part Three have entered guilty pleas today.

In U.S. District Court today, Guy Catrillo admitted that he accepted bribes from a government witness posing as a developer (Dwek).
Catrillo was an aide to Jersey City’s planning and zoning boards and was a community relations specialist in Mayor Healy’s office.
Catrillo was accused of attempted extortion for taking $15,000 from the informant, Solomon Dwek, in exchange for promising to expedite development approvals.

Also today, former zoning board official Maher Khalil pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy.  He also said that that three other people charged in the case took cash from the informant:  Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega, Edward Cheatam, a former city housing commissioner and board of education vice president and the treasurer of the Guttenberg board of education.  Although not actually named, that last person he described was Vincent Tabbachino who is also charged.

This is an odd case because even though there are 44 defendants, it is not as if all 44 worked together.  Thus, a plea by one may have no impact on the others.  I’m sure we will see some more arrests soon.

Story is here and here.


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