NEWARK, N.J. – A former Newark police officer was sentenced today to 46 months in prison for soliciting and accepting cash payments from a brothel owner in Newark in exchange for protecting brothels from police action, and for failing to report those cash payments on his personal federal income tax returns, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Julio I. Rivera, 52, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to two counts of an indictment charging him with bribery (Count Six) and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false 2015 personal federal tax return (Count 13). Judge Arleo imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From September 2014 to August 2015, Rivera solicited and accepted cash payments from a Newark brothel owner (“Individual 1”) who ran brothels located on Lafayette Street and Emmet Street. In exchange for these cash bribes, Rivera performed official acts and violated his lawful duties for the benefit of Individual 1, including declining to arrest individuals who were committing and promoting prostitution, agreeing to protect these individuals from arrest by other Newark police officers, and agreeing to take adverse action against a competing brothel. Rivera collected between $40,000 and $95,000 in bribes in exchange for protecting those and other brothels in Newark.
Rivera also intentionally withheld information from his tax preparer regarding the cash bribes that he received, which caused Rivera’s filed federal tax returns for certain tax years, including 2015, to understate the total amount of income that Rivera received. Rivera stipulated that this misconduct resulted in a loss to the IRS of $15,000 to $40,000.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Arleo sentenced Rivera to three years of supervised release, 1,000 hours of community service and ordered restitution of $17,408 and forfeiture of $79,941.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cari Fais of U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.