Ex-‘pick coordinator’ for Jersey City police gets 1 year in prison over no-show jobs

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A former “pick coordinator” in the Jersey City Police Department’s South District was sentenced to one year in prison over his role in a no-show job scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.  By John Heinis/Hudson County View

James Cardinali, 38, of Jersey City, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and Vazquez imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

Cardinali’s duties included serving as the “pick coordinator” for Jersey City’s South District, responsible for assigning police officers to off-duty details, authorities said.

On multiple occasions, Cardinali asked representatives of certain vendors who were performing work in the South District to sign Jersey City off-duty vouchers indicating that a police officer had completed an off-duty assignment for that vendor, even though no officer had in fact completed any assignment.

Cardinali then falsely represented on these vouchers that a particular police officer had completed an off-duty assignment, according to court documents.

These officers were paid for work they did not perform. Cardinali personally obtained from the officers some of the money that they were paid as a result of the fraudulent conduct, officials said.

In addition to the prison term, Vazquez sentenced Cardinali to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $166,255 and forfeiture of $39,587.

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