Mercer County, N.J., Man Admits His Role In Conspiracy To Extort Bribes
Also Pleads Guilty to Separate Extortion, Narcotics Distribution and Weapons Charges; Co-Defendant Admits Narcotics Distribution
TRENTON, N.J. — A Mercer County, N.J., man admitted today he conspired with the Mayor of Trenton and others to extort bribes and kickbacks in connection with a Trenton parking garage project, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Joseph Giorgianni (a/k/a “Jo Jo”), 64, of Ewing Township, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court to Count One of an indictment returned in December 2012 charging him with conspiring with Trenton Mayor Tony F. Mack, 47, Ralphiel Mack, 41, (Mayor Mack’s brother) both of Trenton, and others to obstruct interstate commerce by extorting individuals under color of official right by corruptly arranging to obtain, and obtaining, money and things of value in exchange for Tony Mack’s exercise of official authority and influence.
Giorgianni also pleaded guilty to Count Eight in the indictment, charging him with conspiring with City of Trenton employee Charles Hall III, 50, of Trenton, to obstruct interstate commerce by extorting another individual under color of official right by corruptly arranging to obtain, and obtaining, money and things of value from that individual in exchange for Hall’s exercise of official authority and influence in connection with the administration of a power-washing contract.
Giorgianni also pleaded guilty to charges contained in a separate indictment returned in March 2013 which included conspiring with others, including Hall, to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone (Count One) and to being a felon in possession of a firearm (Count Six).
An associate of Giorgianni, Mary Manfredo, 65, of Lawrenceville, N.J., pleaded guilty to conspiring with Giorgianni, Hall and others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone (Count One of the March 2013 indictment).
Hall, a former City of Trenton employee, pleaded guilty in February 2013 to conspiring to obstruct commerce by extortion under color of official right by agreeing with Giorgianni, Tony Mack and Ralphiel Mack to obtain payments from the purported developers of the parking garage project in exchange for Tony Mack’s official assistance on the project. Hall also admitted his involvement in the narcotics distribution conspiracy involving Giorgianni, Manfredo and others in connection with the purchase and sale of oxycodone.
The extortion and narcotics conspiracy counts are punishable by a maximum potential prison term of 20 years in prison per count. The firearms count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. All offenses except the narcotics offense carry a maximum fine of $250,000; the narcotics offense has a $1 million maximum fine. Sentencing for both defendants has been scheduled for March 19, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Trenton Resident Agency, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric W. Moran and Matthew J. Skahill of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Trenton and Camden, respectively.
The charges and allegations in the referenced indictments are merely accusations, and all defendants with pending charges are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Giorgianni: Jerome A. Ballarotto Esq., Trenton
Manfredo: Anthony Simonetti Esq., Hightstown, N.J.