A Berkeley Heights man faces at least two years in jail after admitting his role in a scheme to defraud Union County of at least $200,000.
Frank Vicendese, owner of the Viva Group, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court to mail fraud and agreed to pay back $100,000 to Union County, according to the Star-Ledger.
Authorities have said the former head of facilities management for Union, Niel Palmieri of Toms River, conspired with Vicendese to submit fake vouchers for equipment and split the money paid to Viva Group.
The fraud lasted from January 2006 to September 2010. Palmieri resigned last week.
Palmieri was paid in cash as well as gift cards to Lowe’s and Sam’s Club. He sent two checks through the mail to Vicendese, generating the mail fraud charges.
Palmieri, 56, has agreed to pay back $100,000 to the county and faces 46-56 months in federal prison when he is sentenced in January.
Vicendese, 59, also agreed to reimburse the county $100,000 and faces 24 to 30 months in prison.