The sentencing of West New York contractor Victor Coca, who pleaded to bribery charges in July, has been postponed until the end of the year, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Coca, 49, with known addresses in North Bergen and West New York, pleaded guilty to bribery charges in front of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas at a court proceeding in Newark – admitting that he offered a West New York fire official cash in exchange for abating $8.75 million in fines on two separate properties.
While his sentencing was originally scheduled for today, Will Skaggs, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, confirmed that Coca’s sentencing had been moved until December 22 of this year.
During the summer court session where Hudson County View was present, Coca conceded that on March 27, 2014, in order to abate about $14,500 in fines on a Bergenline Avenue property, he offered a $2,000 bribe to a town fire official in exchange for eliminating the fines and obtaining a certificate of occupancy (CO) for the building.
It was also revealed that a second property on Hudson Avenue – which Hudson County View has identified as 6200 Hudson Ave. – had outstanding fines and fire code violations totaling roughly $8.7 million.
Furthermore, Coca admitted that between April 7 and April 21, 2014, that he met with the fire official to bribe him with $5,000 cash, and even drove the official to his then-North Bergen home to give an additional bribe in the form of a $5,000 check made out to the West New York Bureau of Fire Safety in order to eliminate the hefty fines.
The government stated that the first building was owned by a friend of Coca and the Hudson Avenue property was partially owned by Coca.
Coca faces up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.
Hudson County View exclusively reported on Coca negotiating a plea deal for bribery charges back in April.