Former East Haven Zoning Official Admits Pocketing Payments from Residents
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that FRANK BIANCUR, JR., 41, of West Haven, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to seeking and receiving illegal payments while employed as a Zoning Enforcement Officer for the Town of East Haven.
According to court documents and statements made in court, BIANCUR was employed as the Town of East Haven’s Planning and Zoning Administrator/Zoning Enforcement Officer. In pleading guilty, BIANCUR admitted that he sought and received payments from at least five individuals in exchange for official acts he rendered as the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
In May 2015, a resident of East Haven contacted the East Haven Police Department and the FBI with information that he/she had been extorted by BIANCUR since approximately October 2012 and, as a result, had made cash payments to BIANCUR. On May 19, 2015, BIANCUR called the victim and informed the victim that BIANCUR had to inspect an addition to the victim’s residence. Although BIANCUR stated that he was “fighting” for the victim, he also required a payment of $200 or he would make the victim tear down the addition. On May 21, 2015, the victim engaged in a consensually-recorded meeting with BIANCUR at BIANCUR’s office in East Haven Town Hall. During the meeting, the victim gave BIANCUR $200 in cash, which BIANCUR put in his pocket.
In pleading guilty, BIANCUR also admitted that he sought and received $500 cash payments from two additional East Haven residents in order to resolve zoning violations.
BIANCUR pleaded guilty to one count of theft of honest services mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
BIANCUR has been released on a $20,000 bond since his arrest on May 27, 2015.
Prior to his employment by the Town of East Haven, BIANCUR was employed by the City of West Haven and the City of Bridgeport.
This matter is being investigated by the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force and the East Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.
The Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. Citizens are encouraged to report corruption to the Task Force by calling 203-238-0505.