Venegas, 26, of Clifton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to an indictment charging him with knowingly and corruptly agreeing to give corrupt payments to individuals, including a Union City employee.
The release did not name the employee, but described the person as a "city official."
On March 16, Venegas was charged by complaint and surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On Aug. 29, Venegas was indicted by a federal grand jury.
Between October, 2007 and June, 2011, law enforcement recorded several meetings and phone calls with a cooperating witness discussing the witnesses' relatives alleged interest in developing a property in Union City, the release stated. Venegas agreed to help arrange a payment of between $15,000 and $20,000 from the witness to certain individuals -- one of whom was cited as a Union City government employee -- for assistance in obtaining zoning approval for the property, the release said.
Venegas accepted approximately $14,000 in cash from the cooperating witness during the course of several meetings, the release said. Venegas' guilty pleas carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2013.