Tom Bertoli, a Matawan, New Jersey, businessman and former campaign consultant for Mayor Steven Fulop, is now the subject of a federal investigation for allegedly failing to pay his taxes, announced U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito in a press release Wednesday.
Bertoli, 62, has been charged with two counts of tax evasion, one count of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws and one count of failure to file a tax return.
Bertoli operated The Doormen Inc., City Street Associates (CSA) LLC and Urban Logistics LLC. Individually and through his companies, Bertoli obtained payments from clients for services provided, including payments from developers and construction firms for expediting services on real estate development and construction projects, primarily in Jersey City.
Bertoli also collected payments from political campaigns for political consulting services across the state, notably acting as an advisor for Fulop’s campaign for Jersey City Council in 2003 and for mayor in 2013.
Bertoli, who is known locally in the Hudson County area as “the janitor” due to his ability to clean up political messes, denied having anything to do with the Fulop administration in a Crain’s New York Business article from 2019, saying “If it doesn’t have to do with a hammer and a nail, I don’t work on it.” Bertoli’s father was implicated in a bribery scheme with a state senator in the ‘80s and became a local legend for refusing to snitch.
According to an article published by Bloomberg in June 2019, a grand jury investigation revealed that “Bertoli’s woes could be politically embarrassing to the mayor.” In the same article, Fulop’s spokeswoman stated that the mayor had had little to no interaction with Bertoli since being elected.
The mayor’s office did not offer a comment at the time of this article’s publication.
Bertoli obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in gross receipts for calendar years 2009 to 2016.
The complaint alleges that as of April 18, 2017, he had not filed federal tax returns or paid any of the taxes due other than a $5,000 nominal payment in September 2014. He also allegedly used the Urban Logistics bank account for personal expenditures.
Each charge of tax evasion carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of failing to file a tax return carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Authorities have yet to schedule a first appearance for Bertoli before a U.S. magistrate.
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