Former Owner Of Morgan, N.J., Construction Company Admits Role In Bid-Rigging Scheme
TRENTON, N.J. – A former owner of Tarheel Enterprises Inc., a heavy construction and paving company, admitted today to participating in a bid-rigging scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
George Chrysanthopoulos, 50, of Little Silver, N.J., pleaded guilty mid-trial to Count Three of an indictment, charging him with a scheme to defraud a private terminal operator at Port Elizabeth, N.J., of the honest services of one of its employees through bribes to rig a bid. Chrysanthopoulos entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court. The remaining six counts of the indictment are to be dismissed at sentencing.
According to documents and evidence admitted in this case and statements made in court:
Chrysanthopoulos was a vice-president and a co-owner of Tarheel, a heavy construction and paving company headquartered in Morgan, N.J. Between February 2011 and April 2011 Chrysanthopoulos schemed to bribe Donald Olesky, the former director of facilities Maintenance at Maher Terminals LLC, in exchange for the Olesky’s assistance in rigging Maher Terminals’ bid process for a construction project in favor of Tarheel. Unbeknownst to Chrysanthopoulos, Olesky was cooperating with law enforcement and recorded a series of meetings with Chrysanthopoulos, during which Chrysanthopoulos schemed to rig that bid. As part of the scheme, Chrysanthopoulos gave to Olesky a list of contractors to invite to bid on the project and also agreed to pay Olesky a $50,000 bribe in exchange for his assistance in rigging the bid process in favor of Tarheel.
Chrysanthopoulos, who was released on bond, faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing before Judge Pisano is scheduled for March 26, 2014.
Donald Olesky previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court to two counts of the use of mail and facilities in interstate commerce to promote commercial bribery. Olesky’s sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Trenton Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. Fishman also thanked the N.J. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, for its assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harvey Bartle, Attorney-in-Charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Trenton Office, and Vikas Khanna, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.
Defense counsel: Michael Critchley Esq., and John Vazquez Esq., Roseland