|Acting Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino announced that former Birdsall Services Group executive William Birdsall was sentenced to jail today for participating in a criminal scheme in which more than $1 million in corporate political contributions were illegally made through firm employees to evade New Jersey’s pay-to-play law. He is the third Birdsall executive to be sentenced to jail or prison this year. Birdsall Services Group (BSG) was an engineering firm based in Monmouth County that now is out of business.
William Birdsall, 67, of Manchester, N.J., formerly senior vice president and a large shareholder of BSG, was sentenced to 270 days in the county jail as a condition of a two-year term of probation by Superior Court Judge James Den Uyl in Ocean County. He pleaded guilty on May 2 to third-degree misconduct by a corporate official. He paid $129,115 to the state, representing forfeiture of the political contributions he made that were reimbursed by BSG. He also paid a $75,000 public corruption profiteering penalty. He is debarred for 10 years from personally bidding on public contracts in New Jersey or holding an interest of 5 percent or more in any company that bids for such contracts.
Deputy Attorney General Anthony A. Picione, Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, and Deputy Attorney General Mallory Shanahan are prosecuting the case and handled the sentencing hearing today.
The charge was contained in a March 26, 2013 indictment, which also charged BSG and six other executives and shareholders. The indictment stemmed from an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau, which found that the defendants allegedly conspired to avoid the restrictions of New Jersey’s Pay-to-Play Act by disguising illegal corporate political contributions as personal contributions of employees.