Bayonne, New Jersey, Police Officer Admits Using Excessive Force During Arrest, Filing False Report
Also Admits Role in Fraudulent $20,000 Home Rehabilitation Loan Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. – A Hudson County, New Jersey, man today admitted using excessive force during an arrest, falsifying records in an attempt to conceal his conduct and helping a relative fraudulently obtain a home rehabilitation loan, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Domenico Lillo, 45, of Bayonne, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of deprivation of civil rights under color of law and one count of falsifying records to impede a civil rights investigation. Lillo also pleaded guilty to an information charging him with assisting in the filing of a false report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) in connection with a federally funded home rehabilitation loan worth $20,000.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On the early evening of Dec. 27, 2013, Lillo and other police officers from the Bayonne Police Department went to an address in Bayonne to execute a Sussex County arrest warrant. Lillo admitted that he struck the subject of the warrant in the head with a flashlight while the individual was handcuffed and not resisting arrest, which resulted in bodily injury. Lillo also admitted that he falsified a Bayonne Police Department Use of Force Report related to the arrest with the intent to impede an investigation into the case.
In addition, Lillo admitted that on May 10, 2012, he aided a relative in preparing and submitted a fraudulent HUD application to get a federally funded rehabilitation loan on a home Lillo co-owned.
The excessive force charge to which Lillo pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The charge of falsifying records to impede an investigation carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge of making false reports to HUD carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacques S. Pierre of the Special Prosecutions Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven G. Sanders of the Appeals Division.
Defense counsel: Frank Arleo Esq. and Thomas Cammarata Esq., West Orange, N.J.