NEWARK, NJ — A former Newark police officer admitted on Jan. 9 that he solicited and accepted cash payments from a brothel owner in Newark in exchange for protecting brothels from police action, and that he failed to report those cash payments on his personal federal income tax returns, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Julio I. Rivera, 50, of Old Bridge, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to two counts of an indictment charging him with bribery, and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false 2015 personal federal tax return.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, from September 2014 to August 2015, Rivera solicited and accepted cash payments from a Newark brothel owner, who ran brothels located on Lafayette and Emmet streets. In exchange for these cash bribes, Rivera performed official acts and violated his lawful duties for the benefit of the owner, including declining to arrest individuals who were committing and promoting prostitution, agreeing to protect these individuals from arrest by other Newark police officers, and agreeing to take adverse action against a competing brothel. Rivera collected between $40,000 and $95,000 in bribes in exchange for protecting those and other brothels in Newark.
Rivera also intentionally withheld information from his tax preparer regarding the cash bribes that he received, which caused Rivera’s filed federal tax returns for certain tax years, including 2015, to understate the total amount of income that Rivera received. Rivera stipulated that this misconduct resulted in a loss to the IRS of $15,000 to $40,000.
The maximum potential penalty for the count of bribery is 10 years in prison and the maximum potential penalty for the tax fraud is three years in prison; both counts carry a maximum potential fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for April 30.