Disbarred attorney John J. Montefusco Sr., former Parsippany-Troy Hills Planning Board attorney was sentenced to one day in prison and two years of supervised release for taking bribes from a local builder.
Montefusco, 72, Morris Plains, had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to a charge of mail fraud, while admitting that he and family members got illegal discounts on homes they bought from prominent Parsippany builder Edward Mosberg.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has dropped its case against Edward Mosberg, in February 2013, a prominent developer who was accused of bribing John J. Montefusco Sr.
Mosberg, 86, of Union, was indicted in 2008 and faced charges of bribery, mail fraud and conspiracy. He was accused of providing discounts on homes he sold to former Parsippany planning board attorney John Montefusco Sr. and Montefusco’s family in exchange for favors that aided Mosberg’s projects. The alleged arrangement lasted from 1987 to 2007, officials said.
Judge Freda Wolfson handed down Montefusco’s sentence, which included six months of electronic monitoring and a $2,500 fine. In September, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said, Montefusco will face another hearing to determine how much restitution he may have to pay.
Fishman has said that Montefusco and his family members were able to make large sums of money by reselling the properties they got from Mosberg.
The complaint stated, “From in or about October 2001 to in or about October 2006, Montefusco and others devised a scheme and artifice to defraud the Planning Board, the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, and the citizens of the Township, of the right to defendant Montefusco honest services in the affairs of the Planning Board.”
As a result of this corrupt scheme, Montefusco’s family members received substantial personal benefits through the Developer, including, but not limited to:
a. Significantly discounted purchase prices for residential properties built by the Developer;
b. Lenient settlement dates and arrangements, contrary to the terms of the property purchase agreements, that allowed time for defendants to identify third-party purchasers to successfully resell (or “flip”) said properties to these third-party purchasers;
c. Purchase of properties without satisfying any mortgage contingency obligation as per the property purchase agreement;
d. Minimal deposit monies down for purchase of properties, while purchase documentation falsely represented the amount of money deposited on properties; and
e. Free options, upgrades and extras added to the properties, and paid for, by the Developer.
In April, Montefusco was charged with unlawful practice of law after he allegedly accepted money from a criminal defendant as a retainer for providing legal services.
He is accused of meeting with an unidentified individual on a number of occasions between December 2012 and April 2013, during which he allegedly discussed representing the person in a pending criminal court matter and accepted money as a retainer.
His son, John, Jr., former Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education member was charged in 2008 by then, United States Attorney Chris Christie. His charges included “on or about September 15, 2006, defendant John, Jr.,signed a personal federal income tax return (Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Form 1040) for tax year 2005, which contained written declarations that were made under penalty of perjury, and filed and caused to be filed with the IRS this return on which John, Jr., purported to declare all of his taxable income, but which was not true and correct as to every material matter in that the return did not report the items of income and deductions set forth in Paragraphs 10 through 14. On or about the dates set forth below, in Morris County, in the District of New Jersey, and elsewhere, John J. Montefusco, Jr. knowingly and willfully did make and subscribe Individual Income Tax Returns, IRS Forms 1040 as set forth below, which contained and were verified by written declarations that these returns were made under the penalties of perjury, and which defendant did not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter in that he intentionally failed to report income in the amounts of $159,601, $3,682 and $64,533. He was sentenced to three Years of Probation.
Montefusco has been a member of the nine-member Board of Education since 1998 and his resignation from the unpaid post came with two years remaining in the fourth term Montefusco won last year.