A third property owner in West New York has been charged with attempting to bribe a West New York official or officials regarding his property, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
According to the release, Anthony Lam, 51, of Nutley, allegedly paid money to someone associated with West New York officials in order to get a certificate of occupancy on property at 320 62nd St. The release states that on Monday, Lam "admitted that, on May 30, 2007, he paid $5,000 in cash to a witness who was cooperating with the government and who had purported to have contacts with West New York officials. Lam admitted that the cash was intended to bribe public officials whom Lam believed would issue a Certificate of Occupancy despite improper handicapped access and leakage in the basement of the building."
In the last 12 months, two other property owners in West New York have been charged with making bribe offers -- in both cases, to a construction code official in that city.
However, this latest release does not say that Lam allegedly bribed the construction code official. It only says that Lam allegedly bribed a "witness who was cooperating." It is unknown whether they are one and the same, or if a second person was involved in the bribery scheme.
The construction code official who was allegedly involved in the prior two schemes pleaded guilty last July to extortion of at least $30,000.
On Monday, Lam pleaded guilty to one count of attempted bribery, which carries a maximum statutory prison term of 10 years and a fine of $250,000.
Lam is free on a $50,000 unsecured bond. He will be sentenced Aug. 3.
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