GUTTENBERG AND BEYOND -- Former Guttenberg Councilman Vincent Tabbachino pleaded guilty Monday evening to additional charges in connection from the 2009 FBI statewide probe into municipal corruption.
Tabbachino had been convicted of some charges in October, but pleaded guilty to additional charges Monday night that may extend his jail term, according to NJ.com.
After he was arrested in 2009 after being allegedly involved in money laundering stemming from Operation Bid Rig, Tabbachino, 69, of Fairview, faced two separate sets of charges.
On one hand, he was charged with money laundering after allegedly depositing four checks totaling $125,000, which purported developer (and FBI informant) Solomon Dwek apparently claimed were profits from a knock-off handbag business. Tabbachino allegedly gave the cash back to Dwek, minus Tabbachino's 10 percent commission.
But before he could be tried on those charges, he was convicted in October for attempted extortion and bribery in separate charges, after Tabbachino was accused of acting as a middle man between Dwek and Ridgefield Mayor Anthony R. Suarez. Dwek allegedly offered $10,000 to Suarez’s campaign fund in exchange for preferential treatment in obtaining building permits. Tabbachino was accused of acting as a middle man.
Suarez was tried with Tabbachino and found not guilty of all charges. But Tabbachino did not fare as well and was found guilty.
A month ago, it was reported that Tabacchino has asked the prosecutor for changes to an unsigned plea agreement regarding the other charges. Tuesday night, he pleaded guilty to an additional money laundering charge involving Dwek.
He faces up to 20 years on all charges, and has agreed to forfeit thousands of dollars. He is to be sentenced Aug. 24.