NEWARK – The former director of construction for P.C. Richard & Son Corporation was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement for accepting $80,000 in bribes from a New Jersey-based construction company, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Monday.
John Pietsch, 50, of Suffolk County, N.Y., pleaded guilty in August before United States District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise to an Information charging him with a count of traveling and causing the travel in interstate commerce to promote and facilitate commercial bribery. Debevoise also imposed the sentence on Dec. 20 in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: Pietsch worked as the director of construction for P.C. Richard & Son Corporation, which owns and operates the P.C. Richard & Son chain of electronic and consumer appliance stores. In that capacity, Pietsch had the authority to determine which companies would manage the construction of P.C. Richard’s facilities.
Pietsch admitted that in 2008 he agreed to accept cash payments from David Slabon, the president of Designline Construction Services – a commercial construction company based in Eatontown – in exchange for steering P.C. Richard to award construction contracts to Designline. Pietsch admitted that he accepted $80,000 in cash bribes from Slabon.
In a related case, Slabon pleaded guilty in July to his involvement in a scheme to defraud P.C. Richard by submitting fraudulently inflated invoices in connection with Designline’s construction work on a large warehouse and office facility being built for P.C. Richard in Carteret. As a result of this scheme, Designline overbilled P.C. Richard approximately $2.5 million for construction work and services that were never performed.
In addition to the prison term and home confinement, Debevoise sentenced Pietsch to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $20,000. Pietsch has already forfeited $60,000.
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