An auditor with the state Division of Taxation allegedly took a bribe from the owner of a convenience store in Gloucester County in return for not initiating an audit of the store, according to state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa.
Detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice arrested Jerry L. Moore, 33, of Mays Landing, on Feb. 10th after he allegedly accepted a $900 bribe from the owner.
They charged Moore by summons with second-degree bribery.
He faces a sentence of five to 10 years in prison if convicted, including a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison without possibility of parole under New Jersey’s penalty enhancements for public corruption. Moore was arrested as a result of an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. He was released without posting bail after being processed.
“We charge that this state tax auditor used the authority of his public position to shake down a small business owner for a bribe,” said Chiesa. “The serious criminal charge filed against him should send a very clear and powerful message to government employees who think they can use their public offices for personal profit or advantage.”
“This investigation started when a member of the public alerted the Division of Criminal Justice about the alleged corrupt conduct of this government employee,” said Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor. “We urge anyone who suspects criminal conduct by a public official to alert us at our confidential tip line: 1-866-TIPS-4CJ. We will aggressively pursue any leads we receive.”
According to an AG’s Office release, Moore allegedly visited the convenience store on Feb. 2 and told the owner that he must pay him $1,000 to avoid being audited.
“During a subsequent phone call, Moore allegedly repeated his demand for $1,000, but the owner asked that the amount be reduced to $800. Moore allegedly agreed to $900 and arranged to meet the owner on Feb. 10. Detectives arrested Moore at the store immediately after he allegedly accepted the $900 cash bribe from the owner. Because the charge is an indictable offense, the case will be presented to a grand jury for potential indictment. The complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Division of Taxation has suspended Moore from his position as a state auditor, which he has held since December 2000.”