Category: Beachwood

Beachwood, NJ Man Admits To Running Illegal Lottery And False Tax Returns

April 20, 2021

An Ocean County, New Jersey man today admitted operating an illegal lottery and failing to pay more than $65,000 in federal taxes on his earnings from the scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Edward O’Neill, 54, of Beachwood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of managing an illegal gambling business and one count of subscribing to a false tax return.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between 2014 and 2019, O’Neill managed an illegal lottery in Hudson County that was based on the New Jersey Lottery Commission’s Pick Six. Participants in the illegal lottery paid a $20 entry fee and selected six numbers between 1 and 49. The first participant in the illegal lottery to have all six of their numbers selected in the official Pick Six drawing won a cash prize. For each drawing of the illegal lottery, O’Neill collected entry fees and participants’ numbers and entered the numbers into ledgers, which included identifying information for each participant and the numbers each participant had selected. O’Neill monitored the numbers selected in the official Pick Six and, when there was a winner of the illegal lottery, caused the winning participant to be paid in cash.

According to the ledgers, each drawing of the illegal lottery included up to 8,000 participants and the cash prize for each drawing often exceeded $100,000. In exchange for operating and managing the illegal lottery, O’Neill kept for himself 10 percent of the winnings from each drawing. O’Neill admitted that he failed to account for approximately $250,000 in cash winnings from the illegal lottery on tax returns he filed with the IRS between 2014 and 2018, causing him to underpay his federal incomes taxes by $65,674.

The gambling charge to which O’Neill pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, while the subscribing to a false federal income tax return count is punishable by up to three years in prison. Both charges carry a potential fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 25, 2021.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Mahoney; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Farrell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.

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Defense counsel: Jeffrey S. Chiesa Esq. and Brian P. O’Neill Esq., West Orange, New Jersey


Beachwood Residents Charged With Narcotics Distribution

December 28, 2020

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer has announced the culmination of a two-month, multi-agency cooperative investigation into illegal drug activity in the Ocean County area.  Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force and the Beachwood Police Department Detective Bureau identified a residence in Beachwood as being utilized to store and distribute quantities of Heroin.

On December 18, 2020, Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force along with members of the Beachwood Detective Bureau and Patrol Division executed a search warrant at the Beachwood residence. Just prior to the execution of the search warrant, John Vaughn and Jennifer Vuono left the residence and were subsequently detained. As a result of the investigation and the execution of the search warrant, Detectives seized approximately 48 Bricks or 2,400 dosage units of Heroin, along with approximately $4,000 in cash.

John Vaughn, 47, of Beachwood, was arrested and charged with Possession of Heroin in a quantity of more than One Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2); Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe without a Valid Prescription in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6a.  Jennifer Vuono, 38, of Beachwood, was arrested and charged with Distribution of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(3); Possession of Heroin in a quantity of more than One Half Ounce but less than Five Ounces with the Intent to Distribute in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(2);two counts of Possession of Heroin in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a(1); and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe without a Valid Prescription in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6a.  Both Vaughn and Vuono were transported to the Ocean County Jail and released pending a future court date.

Prosecutor Billhimer commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Strike Force, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Asset Forfeiture Unit, Beachwood Police Department Detective Bureau and Patrol Division and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation.

The press and public are reminded that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Trump Boat Parade Draws Thousands

September 6, 2020

SHIP BOTTOM, NJ (OCEAN)–Estimates of 2,500 boats participated in a Trump Boat Parade that was also supporting Law Enforcement Officers and Veterans yesterday.

Boaters are congregated at the mouth of Tom’s River in Barnegat Bay and split into two major groups north bound and south bound.

The northbound parade started at the mouth of Toms River and past the Mantoloking Bridge, F-Cove and Bay Head.

The southbound parade started from the mouth of the Toms River and went past the Manahawkin Bridge all the way down to Beach Haven. A large group of boaters anchored in Ship Bottom after the parade.



Monmouth County Corrections Officer Sentenced To Probation

July 29, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)–A Monmouth County corrections officer was sentenced to two-years probation after admitting he engaged in sexual contact with an inmate at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution last year, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Thomas J. Mauro, 42 of Beachwood, was sentenced by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, Jr.  Although the State argued that Mauro should be incarcerated for 180 days in jail, Judge Falcetano instead suspended the imposition of any jail term on the defendant, indicating he would serve the 180 days if he violated his probation.  Judge Falcetano further ordered Mauro to maintain full time employment, obtain substance abuse and mental health evaluations, and follow all recommendations, and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The Court had previously ordered Mauro to permanently forfeit his ability to hold public office at his guilty plea earlier this year.

 The victim, a 31-year-old female inmate from Neptune City, was observed on April 27, 2019, entering a bathroom at the correctional facility reserved for the exclusive use of Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) staff. Moments later, Mauro followed her into the same bathroom. While in the bathroom, Mauro engaged in sexual contact with the inmate before they each exited the bathroom separately.  The investigation revealed that Mauro and the woman had a prior relationship in 2013 while the woman was not an inmate at the facility.  Regardless of any prior relationship, such sexual contact is prohibited by law.  A correction officer’s power and authority over an inmate invalidates any possible consent that an inmate could provide. 

 “Law enforcement officers have an obligation to maintain the public’s trust that they are conducting themselves at the highest standards.  Corrections officers have the added obligation to ensure that they are maintaining an environment free of the abuse demonstrated in this case,” Gramiccioni said.

“Let this serve as a warning to every officer: violating your oath does harm to your fellow officers, the inmates, and public. Any officer violating that oath will be held fully accountable for their conduct. I’m proud of the corrections officers who diligently serve this agency, and no one will tarnish that reputation,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden.

The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.

Mauro is represented by Jeffrey Garrigan, Esq., of Jersey City.

Monmouth County Corrections Officer Admits Sexual Contact At Jail

May 5, 2020

FREEHOLD, NJ (MONMOUTH)– A Monmouth County corrections officer admitted he engaged in sexual contact with an inmate at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution last year, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.

Thomas J. Mauro, 42 of Beachwood, pleaded guilty today to fourth degree Criminal Sexual Contact before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, Jr. Mauro admitted he had sexual contact with a female inmate at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution last year. Mauro is scheduled to appear before Judge Falcetano for sentencing on July 17, 2020.

“All law enforcement officers have a duty to maintain the public’s confidence that they are conducting themselves with honor and integrity.  Corrections officers have the added responsibility of ensuring that those who are serving sentences for breaking the law are doing so in an environment that is safe and free from the abuse of authority demonstrated in this case,” Gramiccioni said.

The victim, a 31-year-old female inmate from Neptune City, was observed on April 27, 2019, entering a bathroom at the correctional facility reserved for the exclusive use of Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI) staff. Moments later, Mauro followed her into the same bathroom. While in the bathroom, Mauro engaged in sexual contact with the inmate before they each exited the bathroom separately.  The investigation revealed that Mauro and the woman had a prior relationship in 2013 while the woman was not an inmate at the facility.

“I’m proud of the corrections officers who tirelessly serve this agency.  Any officer who violates their oath does a disservice to their fellow officers, the inmates and public, and will be held fully accountable for their conduct,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. 

As part of his plea agreement with this Office, Mauro faces a recommended sentence of probation with 180 days in jail.  Mauro also agreed to permanently forfeit his ability to hold public office in the State of New Jersey.

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Melanie Falco, Director of the Office’s Professional Responsibilities and Bias Crime Unit.

Mauro is represented by Jeffrey Garrigan, Esq., of Jersey City.

More can be found at this link