Former New Jersey Senate staffer Tony Teixeira has pleaded guilty to working with Sean Caddle, who previously admitted to paying two hitmen to kill a Jersey City politico in 2014, to defraud campaigns and political action committees (PACs) out of $107,800.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Teixeira, 43, of Elizabeth, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of tax evasion before before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez today, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.
From 2014 to 2018, Teixeira conspired with Caddle and his political consulting firms to defraud various campaigns, PACs, and 501(c)(4) organizations out of $107,800.
Teixeira then failed to report this illicit income on tax forms that he filed with the IRS during those same years.
Caddle was hired by a former New Jersey state senator to create the PACs and 501(c)(4)s so that they could raise and spend money to advocate on a variety of issues, including supporting particular candidates in local races around New Jersey.
While he isn’t mentioned by name, former state Senator Ray Lesniak had paid Caddle as a political consultant to run several of his campaigns. Teixeira also served as Lesniak’s chief of staff between January 2013 and January 2018, according to his LinkedIn page.
He left that post to serve as the chief of staff to current Senate President Nick Scutari.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Teixeira “wielded influence over the consultants that the campaigns and organizations hired and the budgets that each of these organizations would receive.”
Teixeira and Caddle conspired to falsely inflate the invoices that Caddle’s consulting firms submitted to the campaigns, PACs and 501(c)(4)s with phony campaign-related expenditures.
Federal prosecutors contend that the duo were fraudulently padding the invoices because they agreed to split the difference between Caddle’s actual campaign expenditures and the overage charged to the organizations.
Additionally, it is further alleged Caddle paid a portion of Teixeira’s share to him in cash and funneled the remainder to Teixeira via checks made to out to his relatives in order to conceal that campaign money was being kicked back to Teixeira.
In total, Teixeira received more than $100,000. While he pocketed these fraudulent proceeds and used the money for personal expenses, he never reported the money on the tax forms that he filed with the IRS during the course of the scheme.
The wire fraud conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum prison sentence of 20 years, while the tax evasion charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison.
Both charges are also punishable by a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme, whichever is greatest. His sentencing is scheduled for March 27, 2023.
While Caddle pleaded guilty to his role in the murder of Michael Galdieri in January, his sentencing has been postponed three times, now scheduled for March 22nd, 2023, court documents show.
Counsel for Caddle has previously said that he is cooperating with federal authorities.
Caddle’s political career began in Hudson County in the late 90s and one of his super PACs, the the Committee for Economic Growth and Social Justice, had ties to Hudson County in 2014 – the same year that Galdieri – the son of a judge and a former Jersey City council candidate – was killed, as only HCV reported.
Furthermore, the Government for the People super PAC was founded by Lesniak in August 2020 and paid Caddle a $2,500 consulting fee on December 15th, 2021.
The PAC had sought to aid Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis’ re-election in May, but the group ended up going defunct and having no role in the race due to Caddle’s guilty plea the month after he was paid.
Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy L. Tomlins, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.