Fraud, Bribery Charges Dismissed Against Developer
Suspect's age and likelihood of an overturned conviction led to dropped charges.
More than three years after being indicted on federal charges of fraud and bribery, Parsippany developer Edward Mosberg is in the clear.
The case against the 85-year-old builder was dismissed in late January, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of New Jersey.
Mosberg was accused of paying off a township official to push construction projects in Parsippany. Indictments were handed down by a federal grand jury in Newark in September 2008, NJ.com reported.
Specifically, the developer was alleged to have given real estate discounts to buy three townhomes in Mosberg's Glenmont Commons complex to former Parsippany Planning Board attorney John Montefusco Sr. and his family between 1987 and 2007. In return, Mosberg allegedly was to receive official favors from Montefusco.
In early 2008, Montefusco pleaded guilty to accepting $26,000 in bribes, which cost him his appointment as the Planning Board's lawyer and led to his disbarment. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Montefusco still awaits sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.
Montefusco's son, former Parsippany school board member John Montefusco Jr., was sentenced to three years probation in October 2008 after admitting guilt for his part in the incident. He also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for not paying taxes on real estate profits from homes sold in what feds considered a legally questionable deal.
Despite the guilty pleas and a long-running federal investigation, Mosberg's case is now closed. Rebekah Carmichael, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said there were several factors why the case was dismissed.
“Given U.S. Supreme Court and Third Circuit Court of Appeals decisions affecting the case since the initial indictment, the defendant’s age, the likely length of pretrial proceedings and the likely sentencing outcome should the government prevail at trial, " Carmichael said, "we determined the interests of justice are best served by dismissal.”
The two decisions Carmichael mentioned are the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Skilling v. United States and a Third Circuit Court decision in U.S. v. Wright.
In the first case, from 2010, the nation's highest court ruled that the federal law only covers particular types of bribery that involve "a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."
The latter ruling, from late 2011, reversed the defendants' fraud convictions based, in part, on the findings of Skilling v. United States.