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Former Bergen County Democratic Chief Faces Federal Indictment

Joseph Ferriero was indicted on racketeering, bribery conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud counts

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    Kiselev Andrey Valerevich

    A former New Jersey Democratic county chairman is again facing a federal indictment.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark announced Wednesday that Joseph Ferriero was indicted on racketeering, bribery conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud counts.

    Ferriero is charged with operating the Bergen County Democratic Organization as a racketeering enterprise from 2001 to 2008. The indictment alleges he solicited bribes from a Virginia real estate investment trust and a New Jersey software developer in exchange for using his official influence.

    Ferriero also is accused of paying kickbacks to gain municipal contracts for a consulting company he owned. 

    The man's attorneys, Michael Baldassare and Jennifer Mara, said in a statement Wednesday that the government's case is without merit.

    "This indictment is a tragic and unprincipled attack on Mr. Ferriero's life, without any legal or factual basis," the lawyers said. "The U.S. Attorney's Office has refused to listen to reason after his lawyers have, for months, sought to show them that neither the law nor the facts support their allegations."

    It's not the first time Ferriero has faced federal scrutiny. He was convicted of conspiracy and mail fraud in 2009, but those convictions were tossed after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling narrowed the applicable law.

    "We are confident that, once again, Mr. Ferriero will be vindicated after a full and fair trial," Baldassare and Mara said.

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