New Jersey Transit Employee Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Extorting Money from Vendors
NEWARK, NJ—A New Jersey Transit employee was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for obtaining money from New Jersey Transit vendors to use his official authority and influence to help them get work with New Jersey Transit, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
William Talerico, 56, of Beachwood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging one count of affecting commerce by extortion under color of official right. Judge Walls imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents in this case and statements made in court:
From at least around January 2006 to April 2012, Talerico served as a supervisor of stations responsible for overseeing the maintenance and custodial functions for certain New Jersey Transit facilities, including stations on New Jersey Transit’s North Jersey Coast Line and Northeast Corridor.
During this time period, Talerico agreed to accept and accepted corrupt payments in cash from numerous New Jersey Transit vendors. In exchange, Talerico agreed to, and did, exercise official authority and influence to assist the New Jersey Transit vendors with securing work from New Jersey Transit. In addition, Talerico acted as an intermediary through which corrupt payments were given to a New Jersey Transit supervisor. Talerico received more than $70,000, for himself and the supervisor, in corrupt payments of cash and other items of value from these New Jersey Transit vendors.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Talerico to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $54,600 in restitution.
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, for their work in 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 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, 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 General’s Office.