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PRESS RELEASE: Compliance Officer Washington Borgono Admits Rigging Contractor Selection Process For Union City Community Development Agency Projects

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Compliance Officer Admits Rigging Contractor Selection Process For Union City Community Development Agency Projects

NEWARK, N.J. – A compliance officer with the Union City Community Development Agency (UCCDA) today admitted that he manipulated the contractor selection process for federally funded residential rehabilitation and sidewalk replacement projects, causing losses of $40,000 to $95,000, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Washington Borgono, 65, of North Bergen, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to Count Two of an indictment charging him with obtaining by fraud, converting and misapplying government funds provided by the UCCDA.

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

Between April 2007 and February 2013, Borgono was a compliance officer at the UCCDA, a local government agency that received grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Among the programs that the UCCDA operated through this HUD funding were a residential rehabilitation program and a sidewalk replacement program.

From 2007 through 2013, Borgono manipulated the contractor selection process for HUD-funded residential rehabilitation and sidewalk replacement projects through false and misleading bids. Borgono instructed certain contractors, such as Leovaldo Fundora, a contractor in Guttenberg, New Jersey, to obtain and submit higher, phony bids from other contractors in order to improperly award residential rehabilitation and sidewalk replacement projects to the contractors of Borgono’s choice. Borgono also instructed certain contractors, such as Joseph Lado, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, to bid under a certain specified amount on residential rehabilitation and sidewalk replacement projects, to ensure those contractors obtained those projects. At other times, Borgono instructed certain contractors to submit phony higher bids from their own companies, for residential rehabilitation and sidewalk replacement projects, to ensure that certain contractors were awarded the projects. In other instances, Borgono discarded the lowest bid for sidewalk replacement projects to ensure that Borgono’s contractors of choice would be awarded the sidewalk replacement projects. Fundora, Lado, UCCDA Inspector Johnny Garces and Stanley Parzych, a contractor in Jersey City, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges for their roles in this scheme and await sentencing.

The charge of obtaining by fraud, converting and misapplying government funds carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss associated with the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for July 19, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barbara R. Llanes and José R. Almonte of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Louis A. Zayas Esq., North Bergen

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Most of the information you will see comes from some Federal/state Government documents or Federal/State Governm Agency. -----------------------------------------------The fellow that can only see a week ahead is always the popular fellow, for he is looking with the crowd. But the one that can see years ahead, he has a telescope but he can't make anybody believe that he has it. ~~~~Will Rogers __The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.~ Albert Einstein ~"I never work better than when I am inspired by anger; for when I am angry, I can write, pray, and preach well, for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understandingsharpen​ed, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. _________________________________________________________________________________________ ~"The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment".~___________________________________ George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland, December 2, 1783 Fredericacade@gmail.com

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