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Lodi Teacher Arrested For Sexual Relations With Student

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lodi NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of STEPHANIE A. CARAFA (DOB: 03/12/1986; single; employed as a school teacher) of Lodi, New Jersey on charges of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Contact and Endangering The Welfare Of A Child. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti and the Lodi Police Department under the direction of Chief Donald Scorzetti.

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Ex-Motor Vehicle Commission Clerk Pleads Guilty and Faces Prison for Selling Drivers Licenses from Lodi MVC

MVC

April 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lodi NJ,  Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced that a former New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission clerk pleaded guilty today to operating a scheme in which he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in payments in return for allowing over 200 people to obtain permits and licenses without passing required exams.

Rodman Lora, 39, of Ridgewood, N.Y., a former clerk at the Lodi MVC Agency, pleaded guilty today to charges of conspiracy (2nd degree), computer criminal activity (2nd degree), and tampering with public records (3rd degree) before Superior Court Judge James J. Guida in Bergen County. The state will recommend that Lora be sentenced to seven years in state prison, including two years and four months of parole ineligibility. He must forfeit his pension and will be permanently barred from public employment. Lora was charged in an investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed that Lora altered MVC driver records for over 200 people between 2014 and 2016, enabling them to obtain various permits and licenses without having passed the mandatory written and/or driving exams, including commercial driver’s licenses with school bus and HazMat endorsements. In return, he received cash payments averaging over $700 per license or permit.

The following two men were indicted with Lora and pleaded guilty today before Judge Guida to tampering with public records (3rd degree):
Luis Tiburcio, 46, of Passaic, N.J., was paid to act as a “runner” for Lora and bring him customers in the illegal scheme. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to three years in state prison.
Masood Ahmadi, 55, of Lake Hiawatha, N.J., is the owner of Ideal Transportation, a school bus company operating in northern New Jersey. He sent people seeking commercial driver’s licenses to Lora to obtain licenses through the scheme, including relatives and persons seeking employment with his company. The state will recommend that he be sentenced to probation.

Deputy Attorney General Christopher J. Keating prosecuted the defendants and took the guilty pleas for the Division of Criminal Justice. Sentencing for the defendants is scheduled for June 15.
“When motor vehicle clerks engage in fraud involving driver’s credentials, public safety is compromised,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It is particularly alarming that school bus drivers were being licensed illegally. My office will aggressively prosecute the illegal brokering and sale of driver’s licenses.”

“We will continue to work with the MVC to protect the public by identifying and charging those who engage in this type of fraud,” said Director Elie Honig of the Division of Criminal Justice. “Through this far-reaching investigation, we charged 70 people, including numerous customers of this illicit scheme.”

“The MVC does not tolerate any type of criminal activity whatsoever, either from customers or employees,” said Acting MVC Chair and Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. “This case is a prime example of our efforts to weed out fraud and abuse, enhancing security throughout the entire organization. We will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to ensure the quality and integrity of our motor vehicle services, and the safety of New Jersey drivers.”
Nine defendants were indicted with Lora, including the two who pleaded guilty today and seven others. Two previously pleaded guilty to tampering with public records and face sentences of probation: Carlos Vicuna, 37, of Elizabeth, N.J., was a “runner” for the scheme, and Jose Lora, 45, of Newark, N.J., Lora’s brother, received a commercial driver’s license without passing the written exam. Charges are pending against one defendant and four others were admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.

Beyond the indictment charging those 10 defendants, the investigation led to charges against 60 other customers and runners, bringing the total defendants to 70. Eight of those 60 pleaded guilty to tampering with public records and face probation, and 52 were admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.

Deputy Attorney General Christopher Keating presented the indictment to the state grand jury for the Division of Criminal Justice Specialized Crimes Bureau. The investigation was conducted by Detective Cecil Boone, Sgt. Kelly Howard, Detective Jessica Marcacci and Analyst Terri Drumm, under the supervision of Sgt. Andrea Salvatini, Lt. Bill Newsome, Deputy Bureau Chief Andrew Johns, Deputy Bureau Chief Jacqueline Smith, and Division of Criminal Justice Deputy Director Jill Mayer.

The Motor Vehicle Commission uncovered the alleged scheme involving Lora and referred the case to the Division of Criminal Justice after an initial internal investigation and audit. Attorney General Grewal thanked the Motor Vehicle Commission’s Division of Security, Investigations & Internal Audit for its referral and valuable assistance. He also thanked the following agencies that assisted in the investigation: Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, New Jersey Department of Treasury-Division of Payroll, Lodi Police Department, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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Man Arrested in Arson Attack on Lodi Bank of America Branch

Bank of amercai lodi

March 9,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lodi NJ, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo announced the arrest of RASHIT PEREZ (DOB: 04/06/1987; single; unemployed) of 358 Westervelt Place, Lodi, NJ. The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Squad under the direction of Chief Robert Anzilotti, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office under the direction of Sheriff Michael Saudino, and the Lodi Police Department under the direction of Acting Chief Donald Scorzetti.

On Sunday, March 4, 2018 at approximately 10:30 P.M., Rashit PEREZ poured a flammable liquid and ignited it inside the vestibule of the Bank of America located 4 Hunter Street, Lodi, NJ. On March 5, 2018, members of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office located Rashit PEREZ in Paramus, NJ and took him into custody.

Rashit PEREZ was charged with one count of Arson, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, a crime of the 3rd degree; and one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, N.J.S.A. 2C:39-4B, a crime of the 2nd degree. He appeared in Bergen County Central Judicial Processing Court on March 6, 2018 and was released with conditions.

Acting Prosecutor Calo states that the charges are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and would also like to thank the Lodi Police Department and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.

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Satin Dolls club the fictional “Bada Bing” in the HBO television series “The Sopranos” licenses suspended Due to Alledged Mob Ties

1bada bing

December 8,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lodi NJ,  Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control have ordered the liquor licenses of two North Jersey “gentleman’s clubs” to be sold or transferred to a bona fide third party by January 3, 2018, because of alleged noncompliance with a previous Consent Order.
The two clubs, Satin Dolls in Lodi and A.J.’s Gentleman’s Club in Secaucus, have until December 17, 2017 to cease providing live entertainment. The Satin Dolls club served as the fictional “Bada Bing” in the HBO television series “The Sopranos.” If live entertainment is provided after that date, the licenses will be suspended immediately and the owners will be subject to potential disciplinary charges.

The two clubs and their owners have been the subject of investigation and legal proceedings initiated by the Division for more than six years, during which the owners, various members of the Cardinalle family, sought to retain ownership of the licenses and continue to operate the businesses.

The Division has alleged that Anthony Cardinalle, who was criminally disqualified from maintaining involvement with the clubs’ operations, nonetheless continued to run the businesses. The Division also alleges that the owners failed to account for large amounts of cash flowing in and out of the businesses.
Under an order signed by Director David P. Rible on November 20, 2017, the Cardinalles’ involvement with the clubs must end.

“The Cardinalles may have wanted to keep the business in the family, but that’s not how it works. Their continued flouting of Alcoholic Beverage Control laws cannot and will not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Illegal activity was glorified at the ‘Bada Bing’ in the fictional world of Tony Soprano, but it has no place in modern-day New Jersey It’s time to shut it down.”

In 2011, a Consent Order with the companies Route 17 Entertainment Inc. (Satin Dolls) and Sea-Card Enterprises Inc. (A.J’s Gentleman’s Club) mandated that Luceen Cardinalle, the wife of Anthony who was listed as the sole shareholder of both corporations, turn over the licenses to her daughter, Loren Cardinalle. The Cardinalles were ordered to pay $1.25 million in penalties as a compromise in lieu of revocation of both licenses, and Loren Cardinalle was ordered to transfer both licenses to a bona fide third party by December 31, 2015.

“The holding of licenses to sell and serve alcohol is contingent upon the owners’ behaving in a reputable manner,” said Director Rible. “The Cardinalles, quite simply, have not played by the rules despite many opportunities to correct their behavior, and it’s time to get them out of the alcohol business once and for all.”
Anthony Cardinalle pled guilty in 1995 to federal income tax evasion for not reporting cash payments from “gentleman’s clubs” in which he held undisclosed interests. During the Division’s investigation, evidence was uncovered that Anthony Cardinalle was still actively involved with running the clubs.

Anthony Cardinalle was subsequently indicted by the federal government in January 2013 for participating in a conspiracy by the Genovese crime family related to the waste-disposal industry in New Jersey and New York. He pled guilty in December 2013 to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit extortion and was ordered to spend 30 days in jail and pay a fine and restitution.

As the 2015 Consent Order deadline approached, Loren Cardinalle asked the Division for permission to continue to hold the licenses. A series of extensions were granted, with the latest deadline set for September 28, 2017. After further investigation, the Division issued a Notice of Charges for criminal solicitation for prostitution and lewd activity on the licensed premises in May 2017. Those charges remain pending.

The Division continues to allege that Anthony Cardinalle is involved with the operation of the clubs, citing the following as evidence:
The Lodi Police Department advised the Division that Anthony Cardinalle has been the contact person for issues with the Satin Dolls license.
When police were called to the club because of a report of an attempted burglary, Anthony Cardinalle was the club representative dealing with the matter.
The Attorney General thanked the Division’s Investigation Unit for its work on this matter.