N.J. aide took $1.86M in bribes, gets 5 years

Posted: March 29, 2012

A SENIOR investigator whose state job was to inspect temporary-labor firms operating in South Jersey had a little business on the side, federal prosecutors said.

Joseph Rivera, 56, of Winslow, Camden County, had full-time work ensuring that temp firms complied with state wage and tax laws, but it was his sideline that made it possible for him to afford two Shore homes, real estate in Fort Lauderdale, a luxury car and several bars of gold.

Federal prosecutors said Rivera accepted $1.86 million in bribes from at least 20 owners and operators of temporary-labor firms in return for his official help.

Rivera pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal district court in Camden to solicitation and acceptance of a bribe and tax evasion.

He was immediately sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Prosecutors said that between 2002 and late 2008, in exchange for the payoffs, Rivera refrained from inspecting the temporary-labor firms and falsely certified that they were in compliance with state law.

- Michael Hinkelman

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