FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2012
CAMDEN, N.J. – An associate of the two lead defendants in a racketeering case today admitted providing them with ammunition despite knowing they were both convicted felons, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Todd Stark, 43, of Ocean City, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden federal court to conspiring with Salvatore Pelullo and Nicodemo S. Scarfo to provide ammunition for a 9-mm handgun, knowing both were convicted felons. The charge is included in a racketeering Indictment against Stark, Pelullo, Scarfo, and 10 others.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Two boxes of the same brand of ammunition that Stark provided to Pelullo were found in Scarfo’s residence in May 2008 during the execution of a search warrant there.
The charges in the 25-count Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Indictment stem from the alleged extortionate takeover of FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. (“FPFG”), a publicly held company in Texas, and the subsequent looting of FPFG by members of the racketeering enterprise through a series of fraudulent consulting agreements and acquisitions involving companies controlled by Scarfo and Pelullo. Stark, however, only was charged with the single count to which he pleaded guilty today. Pelullo and Scarfo are awaiting trial.
The count to which Stark pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Oct. 11, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; special agents of the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Panella, New York Region; and the ATF, under the direction of Matthew W. Horace in Newark, with the investigation that led to today’s guilty plea and the overall Indictment. He also thanked the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George C. Venizelos in Philadelphia for its vital assistance, and the SEC for its role.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven D’Aguanno of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit and Howard Wiener of the Criminal Division, Camden.
Defense counsel: Michael Engle Esq., Philadelphia