Union County employee admits guilt for paying bribes

A Union County government worker admitted to paying bribes to a New Jersey Transit employee to obtain landscaping contracts for a business he operated on the side.

Raymond Rapuano, 47, of New Providence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of bribery.

According to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, documents in the case and statements made in court, prior to March 2012, Rapuano had provided an individual who worked for NJ Transit $3,500 in bribe payments for the purpose of obtaining work for a landscape company, RA Landscape & Design (RA), for which Rapuano worked.

Around April 2012, Rapuano agreed to give NJ Transit employees 13 percent of the value of any work awarded by the agency to his business. Rapuano paid an NJ Transit employee a total of $2,000 for $22,000 worth of work awarded to RA by NJ Transit.

The bribery charge to which Rapuano pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2015.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and the State Police, under the direction of Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, Superintendent, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the N.J. Attorney General’s Office, under the direction of Attorney General John Hoffman, and Eli Honig, director of the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice, for their work in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Luria of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Monahan, the Chief of the Financial and Computer Crimes Bureau, Division of Criminal Justice, in the N.J. Attorney’s General’s Office.

Rapuano was chairman of the New Providence Municipal Democratic Committee and supervisor of Building Services at Runnells Specialized Hospital.


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