YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : A Union City real estate investor and property manager got two years in federal prison today for conspiring to launder money in order to make contributions to public officials in exchange for favors — as part of New Jersey’s largest public corruption case ever.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares sentenced Itzhak Friedlander, 43, to two years of supervised release.
Friedlander admitted he conspired with government cooperating witness Solomon Dwek and co-conspirators Michael Altman and Shimon Haber to launder money from Dwek through Friedlander’s account at a purported charitable entity called Gmach Shefa Chaim.
Working for the FBI as part of “Operation Bid Rig III,” Dwek — a crooked developer turned informant — told Friedlander that the funds came from bank fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and concealment of property from a federal bankruptcy court and trustee.
Together, they planned to funnel $175,000 through Gmach Shefa Chaim to public officials in Union City in exchange for approvals to develop a Union City property — all while federal agents were listening on a wire.
Altman was sentenced on March 31 to 41 months in prison, and Haber last year got five months behind bars and five months of home confinement.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited special agents of the FBI and IRS with making the case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
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