Ex-New Jersey Councilman Guilty of Bribery in Insurance Fraud Sting

March 2, 2009

Former Passaic, New Jersey Councilman Jonathan Soto has been convicted on bribery and extortion charges stemming from an FBI sting operation that netted 11 public officials in towns across New Jersey.

A federal jury in Trenton returned the verdict Thursday, finding Soto guilty of all 23 counts against him.

Prosecutors say the 33-year-old Soto accepted more than $44,000 in bribes for himself and two other Passaic city officials from representatives of an undercover FBI insurance company. The payments were in exchange for their assistance in securing contracts.

U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson set sentencing for June 5.

Soto faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the extortion and conspiracy counts. He faces up to 10 years and a similar fine on the bribery counts.

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