Tom Bertoli, a former close associate and aide to Mayor Fulop, will reportedly enter a plea of guilty to a tax-related charge when he appears before a U.S. District Court judge tomorrow.
The report, which appeared yesterday in New Jersey Globe, also said that Bertoli would not be cooperating with authorities as a condition of the plea.
In 2019, Bloomberg reported that Bertoli was being pressured by prosecutors to provide information on Fulop and other New Jersey political figures.
In January, Bertoli’s attorney Jack Arseneault, shot down speculation that multiple adjournments were a sign that Bertoli was working with authorities, ascribing the postponements to a “very significant health issue.” In June, Arseneault said “we are going to trial.”
However, in an email today to the Jersey City Times, Arseneault, confirmed that “there will be a plea proceeding tomorrow.” He declined to comment further.
Bertoli, who advised Fulop in his runs for city council and mayor and ran an extensive business helping Jersey City developers gain approval for their projects, was indicted for tax evasion in June 2020. The eight-count indictment alleges Bertoli failed to file income tax returns, concealed income by using check cashing services, used a business account for personal expenses, and gave false statements to the IRS.
According to the indictment, was also paid by political campaigns for “political consulting services.” Bertoli, the indictment states, received “hundred of thousands of dollars of gross receipts” each year from 2009 to 2016.
Bloomberg reported that some employees in Jersey City’s building department testified in a civil case that Bertoli used his influence in the Fulop administration “to punish people who refused to do Bertoli’s bidding.”
While no charges have been lodged against the mayor, Bloomberg identified several problematic transactions including campaign donations and political arrangements, tax assessments and personal home loans.
The mayor’s spokesperson told Bloomberg that no special favors had been granted by or accepted from any campaign contributor or city contractor.