Jersey City, NJ - Guilty Verdict in First Dwek Corruption Trial
Jersey City, NJ - A city official in New Jersey has been convicted on two of six corruption counts in the first trial stemming from the state’s largest federal sting.
The panel returned its verdict against Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini today at the end of its second day of deliberations following a nine-day trial.
Beldini showed little reaction as the verdict was read.
She has been convicted on two counts of accepting bribes from a federal informant posing as a corrupt developer. She has been acquitted of extortion conspiracy, two counts of attempted extortion and a third bribery count.
The 74-year-old Beldini was among 44 people arrested last summer in a dual public corruption and money laundering sting. She was the first of the group to stand trial.
The government’s key witness in the trial was Solomon Dwek, a former Ocean Township resident and failed developer who became a federal informant shortly after he was arrested by the FBI in May 2006 on $50 million in bank fraud charges.
After agreeing to cooperate with the government, Dwek, 37, traveled throughout New Jersey and into New York City, wearing a wire and secretly videotaping his conversations with government officials and Syrian Jewish rabbis with a tiny video camera.
The videotapes and Dwek’s testimony were the centerpiece of the Beldini trial. The government called only three other witnesses.
Beldini faced up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all six counts, but could receive much less time under federal sentencing guidelines.
More of today's headlines“Monsey, NY - A letter released today by one of the Rabbis that has provided kashrus certification for years to Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, before it was sold to...” Monsey, NY - Rabbi Weissmandl Terminates Kashrus Certification To AgriStar Former Agriprocessors “New York City - According to ABC News Former President Bill Clinton has been Hospitalized in New York City at Colombia University hospital, Clinton, 63, was...” New York City - Former President Bill Clinton Hospitalized