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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.

ANGELA February 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM
ANGELA COLELLO 7:57 am on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Mr. Montefusco should be punished to the full extent of the law as it is obvious he plea bargained and is guilty. It seems for a disbarred attorney, he is advertising "Government Law Services" and still has the word attorney after his name. His son got a slap on the hand for his part in these deals - let's hope justice is served this time around.
Hank Heller February 29, 2012 at 02:56 AM
Can someone please tell me if Mr. Mossberg and/or his associates ever fixed the Forge Pond Dam, as he promised in writing to do, in his agreement with the Township of Parsippany those many years ago, when he was given special permission to build a more dense development than code permitted nearby?
John M March 01, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Another injustice in the town of Parsippany. Too many slippery deals.
ANGELA March 01, 2012 at 08:15 PM
The real injustice will be if Montefusco goes free. This man, representing my ex, took money out of an escrow acccount against a court order and lied to the court over and over without documentation costing me all awarded money in a divorce matter and got away with it. I should sue him for fraud and theft but cannot afford an attorney. I can document my claims but the lawyer previously representing me died and the firm abandoned me. It is very hard if you are not rich to get justice as lawyers do not want to take cases against another lawyer. I definitely have cause to sue for malpractice but cannot find an attorney to do it on a contingency. Any attorney's out there that want to volunteer, let me know because, it could be worth alot of money. Mr. Montefusco has no problems misrepresenting the truth - all he cared about was winning a case. I wonder how many other people he has devastated.
Roman Hoshowsky June 02, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Prehaps someone should investigate possible dirty dealings between Mr. Montefusco and Barbra Zucker. Was she accepting exparte communication with him when she was a judge?
ANGELA June 03, 2012 at 08:28 AM
"THE QUEEN OF MEAN" MONTEFUSCO WAS FAMOUS FOR SENDING EXPARTE COMMUNICATIONS - I FOUND MANY LETTERS IN MY FILES THAT I NEVER RECEIVED COPIES OF BUT HE WAS SLY AS HE NOTED THAT HE DID COPY ME. HOW SOMEONE COULD PLEAD GUILTY AND STILL NOT BE SENTENCED IS BEYOND ME. ZUCKER-ZARRET RETIRED RIGHT AFTER MY RECONSIDERATION/ENFORCEMENT HEARING (SHE WAS NOT MY ORIGINAL TRIAL JUDGE) AND NEVER RULED ON THE RECONSIDERATION MOTION. AFTER SHE RETIRED I BROUGHT THIS UP AND ALL THE JUDGES SAID NOTHING WAS PENDING AND PURGED MY FILES. I WAS DEVASTATED AS I HAD EVERY RIGHT TO ASK FOR A RECONSIDERATION AS ALL ISSUES WERE NOT RULED ON. SHE DID GIVE ME A FINAL ORDER ON THE ENFORCEMENT BUT I HAVE NOT COLLECTED A PENNY AS IT SAYS PENDING PENSION ARREARS AND MONTEFUSCO AGAIN SAID I COLLECTED THEM WITH NO DOCUMENTATION - THERE IS DEFINITELY A RELATIONSHIP THERE. ADDITIONALY THE TOWN WAS SUPPOSED TO SUE MONTEFUSCO - DID HE GET AWAY WITH THAT TOO!

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