UC contractor pleads guilty to paying bribes to city official
Oct 05, 2012 | 2358 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
UNION CITY -- Bryant Venegas, a Union City contractor, admitted today that he agreed to pay bribes to a "city official" in connection with a Union City Zoning Board matter, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Thursday in a press release.

Venegas, 26, of Clifton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to an indictment charging him with knowingly and corruptly agreeing to give corrupt payments to individuals, including a Union City employee.

The release did not name the employee, but described the person as a "city official."

On March 16, Venegas was charged by complaint and surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On Aug. 29, Venegas was indicted by a federal grand jury.

Between October, 2007 and June, 2011, law enforcement recorded several meetings and phone calls with a cooperating witness discussing the witnesses' relatives alleged interest in developing a property in Union City, the release stated. Venegas agreed to help arrange a payment of between $15,000 and $20,000 from the witness to certain individuals -- one of whom was cited as a Union City government employee -- for assistance in obtaining zoning approval for the property, the release said.

Venegas accepted approximately $14,000 in cash from the cooperating witness during the course of several meetings, the release said. Venegas' guilty pleas carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2013.

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