A West New York contractor who owns a construction company in town – who also ran the West New York Future Vision Super PAC – pleaded not guilty to bribing a fire official to abate nearly $8.75 million in building fines today in Newark federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Victor Coca, 48, of West New York, pleaded not guilty in front of Judge Esther Salas earlier this afternoon on the aforementioned bribery charges, as well as for allegedly violating the Travel Act – by discussing the bribes in a restaurant (a place of commerce).
He was represented by Union City attorney Zak Aljaludi.
As Hudson County View first reported, Coca was indicted on the charges back on December 11. Furthermore, he was arrested for allegedly bribing a West New York fire official to erase the millions of dollars in fines back on May 20.
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 bribery 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.
Back in October, then-mayoral candidate Carlos Betancourt, along with former prominent North Hudson developer developer Rolando Cribeiro, told Hudson County View that Mayor Felix Roque knew more about the Future Vision Super PAC then he was leading on.
When he joined forces with Commissioner Count Wiley during the unveiling of the West New York United ticket on Tuesday, Betancourt hinted there would be a lot more to come regarding Coca.
No upcoming court dates have been scheduled for Coca’s case yet as of this writing.