October 8, 2015

Former Union County, New Jersey Vendor Sentenced to 31 Months in Prison for Paying Bribes and Defrauding County of More Than $120,000

NEWARK, NJ—The owner of a company that sold maintenance and cleaning supplies was sentenced today to 31 months in prison for paying bribes to a Union County official and to defrauding the county of more than $120,000 in connection with the purchases, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Richard Greer, 56, of Marlboro, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Judge Walls imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents in this case and statements made in court:

From 2006 to 2011, Greer owned and operated Positive Attitude LLC, a commercial vendor that sold, among other products, maintenance and cleaning supplies to Union County. Aniello Palmieri, 59, of Toms River, New Jersey, was the director of the Division of Facilities Management for Union County and oversaw the purchasing of building materials, tools, hardware, janitorial supplies and other supplies used by the various bureaus of the division.

Greer made cash bribe payments to Palmieri of $500 per month in exchange for ensuring continued Union County business for Positive Attitude. Greer generated fictitious invoices to Union County for many industrial cleaning products to cover the monies paid to Palmieri, often including a profit for himself above the kickback he paid to Palmieri. Positive Attitude received $120,000 to $200,000 in fraudulent proceeds from the fictitious invoices. Greer used the mails to facilitate this scheme by having Union County send the checks in payment for these purchases to his company in Marlboro.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Greer to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $185,000.

On Oct. 2, 2013, Palmieri and Frank Donald Vicendes III, 50, of Berkeley Heights, a Union County vendor, admitted to engaging in a similar bribery scheme and to defrauding Union County of more than $120,000 in connection with sale of supplies to Union County. Palmieri and Vicendes entered their guilty pleas to mail fraud before Judge Walls in Newark federal court. Palmieri was sentenced Oct. 6, 2015, to 70 months in prison. Vicendes is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, superintendent of the state police, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the N.J. Attorney General’s Office under the direction of Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Elie Honig, director of the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice, for their work in this investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.