Health Inspector Indicted For Allegedly Asking For Bribe

TRENTON – A suspended health inspector for the City of East Orange was indicted today on charges that he solicited a bribe from the owner of a small grocery store, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced.

Tthe Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau obtained a state grand jury indictment charging Enock Moochi, 52, of Jersey City with the second-degree crimes of official misconduct, bribery, and acceptance or receipt of an unlawful benefit by a public servant for official behavior. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, and Moochi, if convicted, would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison without possibility of parole under New Jersey’s penalty enhancements for public corruption. The indictment stems from an investigation by the New Jersey State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice.

Earlier this year, Moochi allegedly solicited a $1,000 bribe from the owner of a small grocery store in East Orange, telling the owner that, in return for the bribe, he would overlook health code violations that he had found, including food that had passed “sell by” expiration dates. Moochi allegedly agreed to accept the bribe in two separate payments of $500. He allegedly received one $500 payment from the food mart owner on June 30. He allegedly received the second $500 payment on July 6. Moochi was arrested at the store by detectives of the State Police Official Corruption Bureau after he allegedly received the second payment from the owner. He was suspended by the City of East Orange after his arrest.

“Not only did this defendant allegedly enrich himself unlawfully through his official position, he did so by agreeing to ignore regulations meant to safeguard the public’s health,” said Dow. “He rightfully faces serious criminal charges in this indictment.”

“Misconduct of this type undermines public faith in government,” said Taylor. “We will continue to aggressively target corruption at all levels of government in order to send a strong deterrent message to those who would sell out their duties for personal gain.”

The indictment was handed up to Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr. in Mercer County, who assigned the case to Essex County. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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