Sentencing June 2 for two more Birdsall corruption defendants
The Birdsall Services Group corruption saga nears conclusion, as two more former executives of the now-defunct Eatontown engineering firm plead guilty to charges of illegally political contributions in excess of state laws.
Robert Gerard, 56, of Wall, and James Johnston, 55, of New Brunswick, entered guilty pleas to one fourth-degree count each of making prohibited corporate political contributions through employees. That brings the number of executives who have reached terms with prosecutors to eight, according to New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino's office.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 2. Each is being reccomended for nine months of county jail time. Gerard is expected to forfeit $86,200, and Johnston is expected to forfeit $93,720.
Prosecutors will recommend that each be prohibited from personally bidding on public contracts in New Jersey, or holding more than a five-percent interest in any company eligible to bid, for 10 years.
The defendants, and the company, were accused of funneling more than $1,000,000 surreptitiously for more than six years, by enlisting employees to write personal checks in amounts below the $300 reporting limit, submitting them in bundles to targeted political donees, reimbursing them through artificial bonuses, and omitting the information in reports to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission and to government agencies handling contracts.
Birdsall Services Group, as an entity, pleaded guilty to first-degree money laundering and second-degree false representations for government contracts, in June 2013. The company was ordered to pay criminal penalties totalling $1,000,000, and an additional $2,600,000 to the state in a civil forfeiture action.
Former CEO Howard Birdsall, Senior Vice-President William Birdsall, Executive Vice-President Thomas Rospos, Chief Administrative Officer Scott MacFadden, Marketing Director Philip Angarone, and Marketing Manager Eileen Kufahl were previously sentenced.
Gerard was represented by Frank P. Arleo of West Orange-based Arleo & Donohue, LLC. Johnston's attorney was Donald R. Belsole of Belsole and Kumos, LLC, in Morristown.