Player in corruption scandal pleads guilty

Matthew Appolonia, a co-owner of a trucking company tied to the wider Monmouth County corruption scandal, pleaded guilty today to bribery.

Appolonia admitted that he bribed officials from Monmouth County, West Long Branch Brick Township and Seaside Heights to get them to buy trucks from his company, International Trucks of Central Jersey. The company, in turn, recouped that money by overcharging the towns, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“Appolonia and his co-conspirators rigged the system with their bribes, perpetrated a fraud on the public and corrupted willing public officials,” said U.S. Attorney Chris Christie in a statement.

Among the officials Appolonia admitted paying off were Raymond O’Grady, Director of Monmouth County’s Central Motor Pool, and Anthony Palughi, Superintendent of the Monmouth County Division of Bridges.

Appolonia faces up to 20 years in prison. His brother, Stephen Appolonia, has also been charged with bribery but has not pleaded guilty. In May, Appolonia’s employee Robert Feldman admitted to facilitating bribes.

Player in corruption scandal pleads guilty