A Union City real estate investor and property manager today pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money in order to make contributions to public officials in Union City in exchange for favors, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Appearing in front of U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares, Itzhak Friedlander, 42, pleaded guilty to a one-count criminal Information charging him with conspiracy to launder money to conceal and disguise unlawful activity.
At his plea hearing, Friedlander admitted that from June 2007 to August 2008, he conspired with a cooperating witness and co-conspirators Michael Altman and Shimon Haber to launder money from the cooperating witness through Friedlander’s account at a purported charitable entity called Gmach Shefa Chaim.
The trio planned to funnel the money through Gmach Shefa Chaim to public officials in Union City in exchange for approvals for developing a Union City property.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Friedlander admitted that the value of funds that he conspired to launder was approximately $175,000.
Friedlander’s guilty plea stems from a two-track undercover Federal Bureau of Infestation (“FBI”) investigation into public corruption and international money laundering – which resulted in the charging of 44 individuals in criminal Complaints on July 23, 2009.
Friedlander’s offence carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Judge Linares continued Friedlander’s release on a $250,000 bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled for July 14, 2010.