The owner of a company that sold maintenance and cleaning supplies today admitted paying bribes to a Union County official and to defrauding the county of more than $120,000 in connection with the purchases, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Richard Greer, 54, of Marlboro pleaded guilty to an information charging one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Greer entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court.
From 2006 to 2011, Greer owned and operated Positive Attitude LLC, a commercial vendor that sold, among other products, maintenance and cleaning supplies to Union County.
Aniello Palmieri, 57, of Toms River, N.J., was the director of the Division of Facilities Management for Union County, and oversaw the purchasing of building materials, tools, hardware, janitorial supplies and other supplies used by the various bureaus of the division.
Greer made cash bribe payments to Palmieri of $500 per month in exchange for ensuring continued Union County business for Positive Attitude. Greer generated fictitious invoices to Union County for many industrial cleaning products to cover the monies paid to Palmieri, often including a profit for himself above the kickback he paid to Palmieri. Positive Attitude received $120,000 to $200,000 in fraudulent proceeds from the fictitious invoices. Greer used the mails to facilitate this scheme by having Union County send the checks in payment for these purchases to his company in Marlboro.
The conspiracy to commit mail fraud charge to which Greer pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The plea agreement
requires that Greer pay restitution of $185,000. Greer is scheduled to be sentenced on March 11, 2014.
On Oct. 2, 2013, Palmieri and Frank Donald Vicendes III, 48, of Berkeley Heights, a Union County vendor, also admitted to engaging in a similar bribery scheme and to defrauding Union County of more than $120,000 in connection with the sale of supplies to Union County. Palmieri and Vicendes entered their guilty pleas to mail fraud before Judge Walls in Newark federal court.
Palmieri and Vicendes face the same penalties as Greer and are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8 and Jan. 7, respectively.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford; and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Col. Joseph R. Fuentes, superintendent of the state police, for the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the N.J. Attorney General’s Office under the direction of Acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Elie Honig, director of the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice, for their work in this investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Luria of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Monahan, the deputy chief of the Corruption Bureau, Division of Criminal Justice, in the N.J. Office of the Attorney General.