Two charged in alleged extortion scheme

Two New Jersey men are in FBI custody today on charges arising from a scheme to extort thousands of dollars in corrupt payments in connection with arranging approvals to provide landfill materials for a Hudson County Improvement Authority project, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

A federal grand jury indicted Gerard Pica, 65, of Middletown, and James Castaldo, 59, of Beachwood on Feb. 10.

Each is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right affecting interstate commerce, two counts of extortion under color of official right affecting interstate commerce, and two counts of accepting and agreeing to accept corrupt payments.

All the charges relate to Pica’s employment at the Hudson County Improvement Authority (HCIA).

The men are scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in Newark federal court.

 

Two charged in alleged extortion scheme