Two more Jersey City police officers pleaded guilty to their roles in a widespread no-show jobs scheme throughout the department between 2014 and 2016, Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Ehab Abdelaziz, 38, of Clifton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, while Andrea Fahrenholz, also and from Clifton, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, authorities said.
Private contractors and utility companies sometimes needed the services of off-duty Jersey City police officers for certain projects, including work in Jersey City that could obstruct the flow of traffic. Abdelaziz and Fahrenholz were Jersey City police officers who were eligible to perform off-duty work.
From December 2015 through June 2016, Abdelaziz made a total of $11,825 in bribe payments to another Jersey City officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work, in exchange for that officer’s official assistance in submitting phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that Abdelaziz had completed certain off-duty assignments, officials said.
As a result, Abdelaziz was compensated for work he never performed.
From March 2014 through May 2016, Fahrenholz conspired with a Jersey City officer who was authorized to assign off-duty work.
The officer – with Fahrenholz’s knowledge and consent – submitted phony vouchers to Jersey City indicating that Fahrenholz had completed certain off-duty assignments, according to court documents.
As a result, Fahrenholz was compensated for work she never performed.
Both officers face a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses.
Pursuant to their plea agreements, Abdelaziz and Fahrenholz must forfeit $22,449 and $116,346, respectively.
Sentencing for Abdelaziz is set for January 3, 2018, which sentencing for Fahrenholz is scheduled for January 25, 2018.
This brings the total number of cops that have pleaded guilty to a role in the no-show jobs scheme to nine.
Their sentencing hearings are both set for January 3rd of next year.
In September 2016, Juan Romaniello, the Jersey City Police Department’s former “pick coordinator” for the North District pleaded guilty to accepting $230,000 in corrupt payments.
Romaniello passed away this summer after a long battle with cancer.
Then in June, Anthony Iannicco, another former Jersey City cop, admitted to stealing roughly $55,000 as the result of an illegal off-duty job scheme.
Additionally, three officers pleaded guilty in July to getting paid thousands for no-show off-duty jobs: James Cardinali, 38, of Jersey City, Victor Sanchez, 37, of Hasbrouck Heights, and Christopher Ortega, 29, of Brick.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has previously noted that the Jersey City Police Department is cooperating with the investigation.