Former Hoboken tax collector Louis Picardo, who pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion yesterday, was the personal accountant for Frank Raia, who is set to go to trial on charges related to vote-by-mail fraud next week.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Louis Picardo, 64, of Hoboken, admitted in U.S. District Court in Newark to failing to pay nearly $915,000 in federal taxes yesterday, as HCV first reported.
Picardo, a Hoboken tax collector between 1973 and 2008, was also a partner for the accounting firm Cannarozzi & Picardo LLC.
Sources, who spoke under the condition of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak on the matter, said that Picardo became involved in a federal investigation once authorities sought out financial documents pertaining to Raia.
According to their criminal complaints, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean Farrell and Rahul Agarwal are both assigned to the respective cases for Picardo and Raia.
An attorney for Picardo said in an email that he did not believe his relationship with Raia is what spurned an investigation into his personal finances.
As only HCV confirmed in July of last year, the FBI paid a visit to Picardo’s office on “official law enforcement business,” a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said at the time.
This past Halloween, Raia, a former chair of the North Hudson Sewerage Authority, mayoral hopeful and council candidate, was indicted for vote-by-mail fraud in connection to the 2013 mayoral race – where he was a council-at-large candidate.
Dio Braxton, a known operative on Raia, was indicted on identical charges on the same day.
To date, the federal probe into VBM has ensnared five Hoboken residents, with Lizaida Camis, Matt Calicchio and Braxton already pleading guilty and all three are expected to be key witnesses in Raia’s trial – which is still scheduled to have jury selection on June 11th.