Former Jersey City Board of Education President and Former Acting Executive Director of Jersey City Employment and Training Program Admits Embezzlement and Fraud
NEWARK, N.J. – A former Newark police officer was charged today with allegedly soliciting and accepting cash payments from brothel owners in exchange for protecting the brothels from police action and other matters, and for failing to report those cash payments on his personal federal income tax returns, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Julio Rivera, 49, of Old Bridge, is charged in a 14-count indictment with three counts of extortion under color of official right, six counts of bribery, and five counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
According to the indictment:
From 2011 to November 2016, Rivera solicited, accepted, and received more than $100,000 in cash payments from three brothel owners in Newark. While in uniform, Rivera approached each of these brothel owners, and, instead of arresting them, solicited and then began receiving regular cash payments from them. In exchange for these extortionate cash payments, Rivera performed official acts for the benefit of the brothel owners, including declining to arrest the brothel owners who were committing, facilitating, and promoting prostitution.
Rivera also intentionally withheld from his tax preparer information regarding the cash payments that he received from the brothel owners, causing Rivera’s tax returns from 2012 to 2016 to understate his total income.
The maximum terms of imprisonment are 20 years for each extortion count, 10 years for each bribery count, and three years for each tax count. Each count of the indictment carries a maximum potential fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
The charges and allegations against Rivera are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Tafur in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cari Fais and Karen D. Stringer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.