In yet another case of political misconduct in New Jersey, a federal jury convicted former Bergen County Democratic Organization chairman Joseph Ferriero of conspiracy and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud Bergenfield of the honest services of its borough attorney Dennis Oury, according to a report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police’s Fraud & White Collar Crime Committee.
Yesterday, it was determined that Ferriero faces a 60-year prison sentence when he is sentenced on February 10, 2010. The conviction also carries a fine of $250,000.00, according to Judge Stanley R. Chesler, who presided over the trial.
The jury found Ferriero guilty of one count of conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud related to his scheme with Oury to create a grants consulting firm, Governmental Grants Consulting (GGC), which they used to solicit a municipal contract with the borough while hiding Oury’s involvement and financial interests in the company. The jury acquitted Ferriero of five other mail fraud counts.
Testimony in the trial of Ferriero began on October 1 and the jury started its deliberations on the morning of October 22 and returned its verdicts approximately six hours later. Two days before both Oury and Ferriero were to go on trial together, Oury pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count and to one count of failing to file a federal tax return. Oury subsequently testified in support of the government’s case against Ferriero.
“The verdict puts an end to an era of abusive power and politics by Mr. Ferriero,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Weysan Dun.
“From this verdict, we learn again that the citizens of New Jersey must play an active role in their government and question their leaders. They must inquire who stands to profit from the deals and decisions off their leaders. If the answers to those questions don’t add up or are unsatisfactory, then citizens must not be afraid to enlist the help of the FBI.”
The charges at trial related to the creation of GGC by Ferriero and Oury and their efforts to conceal their interests while profiting from Bergen County municipalities