A Jersey City man has admitted that he swindled two investors of $3.4 million by falsely representing that his businesses had secured lucrative contracts to sell olive oil to major retailers, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Antonio Fasolino, 62, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Michael Vazquez in Newark federal court to all four counts of an indictment charging him with three counts of wire fraud and one count of transacting in criminal proceeds. Judge Vazquez deferred acceptance of the guilty plea until sentencing, which is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2019.
Fasolino owned several companies that were purportedly involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil and other food products. In 2012, Fasolino obtained approximately $3.4 million from two investors by falsely representing that his companies had been awarded lucrative contracts to sell olive oil.
In fact, there were never any such contracts, according to Carpenito. He said Fasolino supplied the victims with altered bank statements and spent the money on himself, including car and mortgage payments, apartment rentals, a wedding, college tuition, and credit card payments.
Jersey City cop charged with aggravated assault in Hoboken
Jersey City resident Kely Nunfio, 24, and Jersey City Police Officer Erik Castro, 24, were arrested and charged after Hoboken Sgt. Saverio Binetti called in a fight at 2:56 a.m. on Aug. 19, near First and River streets.
According to a police press release, the responding officers saw a group of about 40 people in the street and sidewalk and an unconscious man on the ground bleeding from a cut under his eye. He was being tended to by onlookers along with Officer Cynthia Rivera.
As the officers tried to disperse the crowd they received information on who caused the victim’s injury.
They saw Castro, identified in the report as a Jersey City police officer, standing near the scene. According to the press release Castro allegedly told the officers he had struck the victim.
Several witnesses told police both Castro and Nunfio allegedly struck the victim several times.
Castro and Nunfio were placed under arrest and transported to headquarters for processing.
According to a press release from the Hoboken Police Department, “the victim suffered serious head trauma from the assault.”
He was transported to Jersey City Medical Center Trauma Unit where he remained under observation. Castro was released on a summons and Nunfio was remanded to the Hudson County Rehabilitation Center.
New development named after pioneer African-American surgeon
Jersey City and state officials cut the ribbon on an affordable housing development named after a pioneer African American surgeon, Dr. Lena Frances Edwards. The apartment complex will provide 64 affordable rental units, with five set aside for homeless veterans.
Dr. Edwards was a prominent African-American physician who served Jersey City’s working class and immigrant residents in the early 20th century. While practicing medicine, Dr. Edwards would speak about public health and related social issues at local churches and the YWCA. Dr. Edwards helped set up a 15-bed maternity hospital with donated materials and funds and, using her board certification to get her patients admitted to the local hospital when necessary, reduced infant mortality dramatically. Her efforts earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, the U. S. government’s highest peacetime honor, capping a lifetime of service and struggle for those in need.
The apartments, with 2,300 feet of retail space on the ground floor, also include amenities like a community room, on-site laundry, green roof, administrative offices, bike storage and on-site covered parking for residents. They will be rented to individuals or families with a household income lower than 60 percent of the area median income. Five of the units are set aside for households with income lower than 20 percent area median income, with priority given to homeless veterans.
The development will also provide a supportive services coordinator who will work with the homeless individuals and their existing case managers, as available, to develop a success plan for the residents. A full array of supportive services will be offered to all residents, including financial and budget planning, health and nutritional education and preventative medical screenings. Services will be provided in partnership with multiple agencies including Women Rising, a local Jersey City nonprofit.
Jersey City Public Library holds events in September
In addition to its usual wide array of interactive workshops, classes, films, and social opportunities for children, young adults, families, adults, and seniors, the Jersey City Public Library has several new and notable offerings in September:
The Jersey City Friends of the Public Library will hold an “Escape to Margaritaville” Fundraiser at PJ Ryan’s Squared on Thursday Sept. 20, from 6 to 10 p.m. The $20 ticket price includes food, beer, wine, and live music. All proceeds go towards the ongoing renovation of the main library.
The library will also celebrate Jersey City’s stories and the authors who tell them at the 10th Annual Tales of Our Cities Book Festival at the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year the event features local authors David Goodwin who wrote “Left Bank of the Hudson,” Tara Makhmali, author of ”Misswired,” and others.
Multimedia play on the life & philosophy of Simone Weil
Jersey City Theater Center presents “Prologue,” a new multimedia, international production about the life and philosophy of Simone Weil for a 10-show run, beginning Sept. 13 at Merseles Studios.
A French philosopher, political activist and mystic, Simone Weil was a uniquely pivotal 20th century figure. An influential scholar and writer, her life and work spanned the diverse worlds of Marxism, social activism, and spirituality.
Written and directed by Maria Litvan, an award-winning playwright acclaimed both here and in her native Spain, the first half of “Prologue” was first work shopped in 2013 at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn.
The show runs Sept. 13 to 16, Sept. 20 and 23, then again Sept. 27 to Sept. 30.
For all shows except Sundays, the doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. Doors open for the Sunday shows at 3:30 p.m. with the show at 4 p.m.
Tickets cost $20 ($15/ Student and Senior Discount – must show valid ID). To purchase tickets visit: www.JCTCenter.org.
Hudson County CASA seeks volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm. 901 on Tuesday, Sept. 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.
Ribbon cutting for new development on West Side
Executives from The Hampshire Companies and Claremont Companies were joined by New Jersey City University President Sue Henderson and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop to celebrate the ribbon cutting for RIVET, Jersey City’s newest luxury apartment development, at 23 University Boulevard in the city’s west end neighborhood.
The development features 163 modern residential units and 10,000 square feet of service-oriented ground level retail. It is a key component in the first phase of a mixed-use master plan to transform Jersey City’s emerging west end neighborhood into University Place, a massive project done in conjunction with New Jersey City University.
NJCU President Sue Henderson said RIVET is the first apartment building to open at University Place, and is part of public-private partnership that will help the university to offset operational costs and maintain tuition rates.
JC Housing Authority first in nation to meet federal goals
The U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have recognized the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) as the nation’s first public housing authority to achieve its 20 percent energy savings goal as a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. JCHA actually exceeded its goal, reaching 26 percent savings in only six years.
“We are very proud that the JCHA leads the nation as the first public housing authority to meet and exceed Better Building Challenge energy savings goals,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “Through its collaborations with stakeholders and strong commitment to innovative green strategies, JCHA offers a sustainability model that other multi-family affordable housing providers can follow.”
The Better Buildings Challenge is a DOE and HUD program that works with market leaders to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s buildings, multifamily housing, and manufacturing plants.
The housing authority pledged in 2013 to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings by 20 percent over the course of 10 years. The authority is one of 43 public housing agencies across the country to take the Better Buildings Challenge pledge. The authority’s savings are part of national savings of $3.1 billion since the launch of the Better Buildings Challenge in 2011.
The housing authority focused on agency-wide green initiatives and energy-efficient modernization of its properties to save energy and improve efficiency. The JCHA partnered with Siemens Industry, Inc. beginning in 2008, enabling the authority to modernize units with HVAC controls, energy saving lighting, and water efficiency improvements. These efforts enabled the JCHA to install a solar hot water heating system at Holland Gardens, the first solar hot water system installed in a public housing authority site in the state of New Jersey.