A West New York contractor – who also runs the West New York Future Vision Super PAC – has been indicted on an additional charge of attempting to bribe a town fire official in order to abate about $8.75 million in outstanding building fines, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
Victor Coca, 48, of West New York, has been charged by a federal grand jury of violating the Travel Act – by discussing the bribes in a place of commerce (a restaurant) – in addition to a count of paying bribes to a fire official, authorities said.
Coca, who was arrested at a residence in North Bergen on May 20, has two properties in West New York with numerous fire code violations that total over $8.75 million in fines.
According to the indictment, Coca paid an unnamed West New York fire official a $2,000 cash bribe to eliminate $14,500 in fines, as well as paying $5,000 cash bribe to eliminate the whopping $8,730,00 in fines at the second building.
The charge comes with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison with a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss that resulted from the offense.
Coca is also the owner of West New York construction company YYY Enterprise.
In an interview with Hudson County View in October, former prominent North Hudson developer Rolando Cribeiro and mayoral hopeful Carlos “Chuck” Betancourt said that West New York Mayor Felix Roque knew more about Coca and the West New York Future PAC (Coca runs the PAC) than he was leading on.
Town spokesman Pablo Fonseca said the mayor was invited to the February 12 event at Las Palmas as a guest speaker and declined to comment further since it was an ongoing legal matter.
A copy of the indictment can be read here.