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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Jersey City, New Jersey, Fire Inspector Sentenced To One Year And One Day In Prison For Accepting Bribes In Return For Official Assistance With Prostitution Businesses

NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City fire inspector was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for accepting bribes in return for his assistance in providing prostitution businesses with certificates of occupancy and advance notice of inspections or law enforcement activity, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Phillip Procaccino, 56, of Belleville, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden to an information charging him with one count of attempting to obstruct, delay and affect interstate commerce by extortion under color of official right. Judge Hayden imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Procaccino admitted that on Oct. 23, 2013, he accepted $2,500 in exchange for his official assistance in obtaining a certificate of occupancy for a massage parlor, which also operated as a prostitution business. Procaccino also offered to provide notice of impending inspections from Jersey City authorities so the owner and employees could preemptively hide evidence of prostitution.

In addition, Procaccino agreed to take 10 percent of future profits from a separate prostitution business in exchange for a certificate of occupancy and one day’s advance notice of any police activity targeting the business. Both prostitution businesses were located in Jersey City.      

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hayden sentenced Procaccino to serve one year of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI’s Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, and criminal investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark for their work leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vikas Khanna and Amy Luria of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Paul B. Brickfield Esq., River Edge, New Jersey

Press Release Number: 
Updated April 7, 2015