Sentencing of ex-WNY Commissioner Ruben Vargas delayed until Sept. 14

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The sentencing of former West New York Commissioner Ruben Vargas has been delayed until September 14, a federal court clerk told Hudson County View. Ruben Vargas

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

As Hudson County View first reported, Vargas, 65, pleaded guilty to performing equity skimming with a $417,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) back in May.

Vargas admitted in court that on or about September 21, 2007, he purchased the rental property, located at 5512 Grant Pl., and purposely stopped making payments on it, yet continued to collect rental income from the residence.

A former car salesman, Vargas resigned from office in February 2015, citing “personal circumstances” as the reason.

Since then, he has found employment at both the town’s housing and parking authorities, earning annual salaries of $35,000 and $40,000, respectively.

Despite his guilty plea, both autonomous agencies initially opted to keep Vargas on the payroll.

However, at the end of June, the HUD Departmental Enforcement Center informed Vargas that he would be suspended without pay from the housing authority.

At the regularly scheduled May meeting of the West New York Housing Authority, Agency Counsel Frank Leanza insisted that there was no reason to terminate Vargas since such an action was not explicitly stated in his plea agreement.

“… We [myself and labor counsel] both concur that there is nothing in the plea agreement that requires that Mr. Vargas forfeit his office. That was not a lapse by the U.S. Attorney’s Office: they don’t make mistakes,” he said at the time.

Vargas’ sentencing is now scheduled for September 14 at 11 a.m. in front of Trenton federal court Judge Freda Wolfson. His hearing was originally set for yesterday at 10 a.m.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with this former elected official who pleaded guilty to stealing from Hud is he is still on the town payroll . Hud had to take him off the WNY housing payroll because the Mayor is protecting this thief. He must have something on the Mayor . They both were under indictment and have the same attorney, the only difference is the Mayor pleaded not guilty again . The Feds had Vargus so he pleaded guilty. The residents have been embarrassed by the Roque administration for years.

  2. What is the Newark connection with the Parking Authority, some of the board are Newark Residents and they hired the Acting Executive Director Amiris Perez who is a also a Newark Resident. Aren’t any WNY people qualified for the job or does Roque owe Favors to someone in Newark . WNY residents need jobs and should come first. Vargus and Perez have to go

  3. He always that smile on his face because he knows his getting away with what ever he did wrong.the only way this town is going to get back on its feet,is by calling real news media like channel 4 or 7 or 11,and let them know whats going on if not all will stay the same and business as usual,call these channel let every one know wats going one they WILL INVESTAGATE and the truth will come out. they also speek Spanish.

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